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May - 2008 - issue > Tech Tracker
World’s smallest transistor created
Christo Jacob
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
The University of Manchester continues to innovate with the world’s smallest transistor.
The researchers here have created the world's smallest transistor, which is just one atom thick and ten atoms wide, a little bigger than a molecule.

Using the world's thinnest material called graphene, a team at the University has produced the transistor that is marking the first true electronic nanocomponent, the journal 'Science' reported. Dr. Kostya Novoselov and Professor Andre Geim from The School of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Manchester who developed the tiny transistor said that graphene could be carved into tiny electronic circuits with individual transistors having a size not much larger than that of a molecule. In recent decades, manufacturers have crammed more and more components onto integrated circuits, followed by a number of transistors and the power of these circuits have doubled roughly every two years.

According to Dr. Novoselov and Professor Geim, the smaller the size of the transistors, the better they perform. Transistors made of graphene started showing advantages at sizes below ten nanometers, the miniaturization limit at which traditional silicon-based technology is predicted to actually fail. However, professor Andre Geim counseled: “It is too early to promise graphene supercomputers. Unfortunately, no existing technology allows the cutting of materials with true nanometer precision. But this is exactly the same challenge that all post silicon electronics has to face. At least we now have a material that can meet such a challenge.”

Bob Westervelt, Professor at Harvard University finds that graphene is an exciting new material with unusual properties that are promising for nanoelectronics.

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