The smallest transistor ever fabricated has been announced by a team of researchers led by Center for E3S investigator and UC Berkeley professor, Ali Javey. In a paper published in Science the team demonstrated an electrical switch with a record-low 1-nanometer gate; far below the 5-nanometer limit that can theoretically be achieved by conventional semiconductors.
The research team, which also includes E3S Deputy Director, Prof. Jeffrey Bokor (UC Berkeley) and E3S investigator Prof. H.-S. Philip Wong (Stanford) circumvented the 5-nanometer limit through a new generation of electronic materials. Carbon nanotubes were used as the gate material, whereas atomically thin molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) sheets replaced conventional silicon as semiconductor. Once combined into a device, the electronic properties indeed confirmed that the world’s smallest transistor acts as an electronic switch, controlling the flow of electrons.
While Prof. Javey pointed out that this successful demonstration is only “a proof of concept” and more work needs to be done before these transistors become interesting for practical applications, he also emphasized this work showed that “Moore’s Law can continue a while longer by proper engineering of the semiconductor material and device architecture.”
For more information, please go to the Berkeley Lab press release.