Researchers create one-atom transistor

Transistor working on one single atom! Yes, you heard that right. Researchers from the New South Wales University, Purdue University and the Melbourne University have created a transistor using just one basic unit of matter, the atom. This is definitely the world’s first and is a new milestone as far as technological breakthroughs and progress is concerned. It’s not that silicon single atom transistors haven’t been created in the past, we’ll have to use the term ‘discovered’ out here, because they have been created accidentally. Not only that, these guys have made this new creation, keeping in mind the future. “We really decided 10 years ago to start this program to make single-atom devices as fast as we could, and try and beat that law,” Michelle Simmons, Director of the ARC Centre for Quantum Computation and Communications, and the team’s Head Researcher said. “So here we are in 2012, and we’ve made a single-atom transistor in roughly about eight to 10 years ahead of where the industry is going to be.

Small, smaller, smallest!

Small, smaller, smallest!



As reported by Digital Trends, here’s how the process took place. The scientists used a scanning tunneling microscope that enabled them to see the atoms precisely and they etched a miniscule part in a base of silicon. Thereafer, they passed Phosphine gas, which consisted of an isolated atom of Phosphorous. The experiment was completed by passing an electric current that switched the electrical signals, remniscent of any other normal transistor in the real world. So, does this mean that we see some crazy technological scaling in the near future that pushes down the size constraints of current chips?


According to the professor and director of Purdue’s research group, Mr. Gerhard Klimeck, ”This technology researchers used to create the device will not scale up to billions of devices,” Here’s the reason why. At present, the procedure and operating conditions are a bit too harsh for real world explorations. The transistor can function only under a whopping temperature of minus 391 degrees. Ah, if only the Earth would be a ‘little’ cooler!

Published Date: Feb 20, 2012 03:04 pm | Updated Date: Feb 20, 2012 03:04 pm