Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 20th Feb 2012 22:53 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "A group of researchers has fabricated a single-atom transistor by introducing one phosphorous atom into a silicon lattice. Through the use of a scanning tunnelling microscope and hydrogen-resist lithography, Martin Fuechsle et al. placed the phosphorous atom precisely between very thin silicon leads, allowing them to measure its electrical behavior. The results show clearly that we can read both the quantum transitions within the phosphorous atom and its transistor behavior. No smaller solid-state devices are possible, so systems of this type reveal the limit of Moore's law - the prediction about the miniaturization of technology - while pointing toward solid-state quantum computing devices."
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Comment by transputer_guy
by transputer_guy on Tue 21st Feb 2012 19:34 UTC
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This experiment was done at 0.020 Kelvin otherwise it wouldn't have worked.

I used to draw transistors for a living back when the smallest feature was 10,000 atoms wide. IBM and others have been pushing atoms around for maybe a decade or two writing their logos.

To be really interesting it would have to be a full blown logic circuit, at least an inverter chain, better still a small adder, or SRAM memory cell with the ability to read and write a few bits.

The interconnects will dominate though, the only thing that matters is how thin a wire can be drawn that will reliably work for years. In the picture it seems a 5 Si atom wide wire might work. The channel length is effectively 40 atoms wide.

I'd suspect logic circuits that look familiar might still work with 10nm or 100 atom features. Current 30nm is only 300 helium atoms across.

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