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In an age ruled by information great emphasis is placed on processing speed, memory capacity and sensor sizes. The advancement of such hardware is tied directly to the accelerated development of integrated circuits and exponential improvements of the transistor. When news hits that researchers successfully built a working transistor the size of a single atom, the next generation of devices don’t seem that far-fetched.

Researchers from Helsinki University of Technology (Finland), University of New South Wales (Australia), and University of Melbourne (Australia) have succeeded in building a working transistor, whose active region composes only of a single phosphorus atom in silicon.

“About half a year ago, I and one of the leaders of this research, Prof. Andrew Dzurak, were asked when we expect a single-atom transistor to be fabricated. We looked at each other, smiled, and said that we have already done that”, tells Dr. Mikko Möttönen.


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Comments

  1. Pe'er says:

    How do I solder a device this small into my home brew project? SMD is just about managable, but I think things could get tricky here.

  2. saimhe says:

    @Pe’er:

    I believe some of your projects used the good ole’ 2N2222. But did you solder directly to its crystal, an enormous thing 0.020″-by-0.020″ in size?

  3. Andrew says:

    You don’t solder these in place. You hold them in place with a Quark screw.

    1. Anonymous says:

      I’d have used a glueball

  4. machright says:

    No wire wrapping these transistors!

    Can’t imagine how small a 555 timer would be if it used atom size transistors on it’s chip!