Friday 12 September 2014

Researcher Successfully Created the World's Thinnest Transistor

Thinnest Transistor
                                           Credit: AlexanderA1US
Most of the high-tech electronic devices depend upon a tiny, hard silicon chips for their functionality. It has been imagined that in coming days our technology would be so advanced that the walls, windows and clothes would act as a computing device. In order to achieve that reality, the hardware components would have to be soft and flexible. One research group has already taken a step toward that flexible future through combining a conductor and an insulator in the thinnest sheet ever possible, which is just one atom thick.

What Does This Mean

In simple words, this work shows that it is now possible to bring together the conductor and insulator in any space, which is even just an atom thick. It is expected to open doors to the ability of creating atomically thin electronics or even creating more complicated stack electronics. This is a remarkable achievement in the field of nanotechnology. However, it is in early phase but it does seem to be a crucial step in the right direction toward miniaturizing electronic gadgets.

The Importance of this Research

Transistors are the building blocks of all the modern digital computer. A transistor is composed of a conductor, an insulator and a semiconductor. This research has successfully brought these two out three components together into the universe’s thinnest sheet which a notable feat in itself. Furthermore no one else has ever succeeded in patching together two different materials with vastly different electronic properties in the same two-dimensional sheet.

Making of World’s Thinnest Transistor

Researchers has used a new material known as graphene which is one-atom thick sheet of carbon with the ability to take electrons faster than any other chemical at room temperature.

Advantages of Using Graphene

1. Flexible

2. Transparent

3. Faster than Silicon

Researchers also states that since the graphene is flexible and works much faster than the traditional silicon, it might be utilized as a key supplement for silicon in future. As it is transparent, it can also be used into touch screens. Research Labs are taking active interest in studying graphene and finding ways of introducing it into electronic devices.

Researchers have developed a technique to control exactly where they lay down the graphene and insulator, boron nitride. With their specially patterned graphened and borone nitride, they created a one centimetre to inch long pieces of materials through which they were able to successfully run currents. They had built their sheet through a technique, which is generally used in advanced industry, and it also gave them the power to control the currents in their desired way.

The Future Prospects

Researchers have estimated that it would take a decade or longer before graphene would eventually be used in laptops and other electronic gadgets. The major problem associated with graphene based-computers is that it is impossible to stop the flow of current through graphene. Which means researchers could not create transistors, which have the option for turning off and on, without this it is not possible to supplement the silicon-based devices. It is a formidable challenge and researchers are actively taking steps in overcoming it. In near future we might have super high tech electronic devices running on high performing graphene.

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