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 MÃ¶ttÃ¶nen.