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Chipmaking method makes single-electron devices

  September 29, 2008
Stick gold nanoparticles in the right places on vertically-stacked electrodes and you have a route to ultra low-power computer chips.

A technique for producing multiple room temperature single-electron transistors in parallel using standard chipmaking techniques is a step toward practical uses for the devices. The key is stacking two electrodes with a thin layer of insulation between them and sticking a gold nanoparticle on the exposed edge of the insulation on the side of the stack.

Single-electron transistors, which represent 1s and 0s with the presence or absence of single electrons, hold the promise of computer chips and sensors that use very little electricity.

Research paper:
CMOS-Compatible Fabrication of Room-Temperature Single-Electron Devices
Nature Nanotechnology, published online September 14, 2008

Researchers' homepages:
Seong Jin Koh
Choong-Un Kim

Related stories and briefs:
Single electrons perform logic -- research showing the potential of single-electron devices

Further info:
How It Works: Nanotechnology -- the physics of the very small -- includes explanation of single-electron devices

Back to TRN September 29/October 6, 2008

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