Transistors get atomic

atomium-BelgiumBoffins have emerged from their smoke filled labs with a transistor which works at an atomic level.

Physicists at the punchy titled Paul-Drude-Institut für Festkörperelektronik (PDI) institute and the Freie Universität Berlin (FUB), along with chums at the NTT Basic Research Laboratories (NTT-BRL), Japan, and the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) used a scanning tunnelling microscope to create a minute transistor consisting of a single molecule and a small number of atoms.

The observed transistor action is markedly different from the conventionally expected behaviour and could be important for future device technologies as well as for fundamental studies of electron transport in molecular nanostructures.

The complete findings are published in the August 2015 issue of the journal Nature Physics which we get for the spot the proton competition.

In atomic-scale transistors, current is extremely sensitive to single electrons hopping via discrete energy levels. Single-electron transport in molecular transistors has been previously studied but atomically precise control of the gate – which is crucial to transistor action at the smallest size scales has been impossible.

The team’s project involved building a transistor consisting of a single organic molecule and positively charged metal atoms, positioning them with the STM tip on the surface of an indium arsenide (InAs) crystal.

Means that the truly microtech has legs and might be with us in a decade or so.