Monday, February 20, 2012

Single atom transistor

Article first published as Transistor Made of Single Atom on Technorati.

Scientists from the University of New South Wales have developed the world’s smallest transistor that is made up of a single atom.
The team of researchers precisely placed the phosphorus-31 isotope on the Silicon base in an ultra-high vacuum chamber with the help of a Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) and developed a single atom transistor, which could be a better foundation for scalable quantum computing. Scientists have precisely positioned the atom, so that it must be at an effective place with reduced error margin.
“Our group has proved that it is really possible to position one phosphorus atom in a silicon environment - exactly as we need it - with near-atomic precision, and at the same time register gates,” lead author Dr. Martin Fuechsle from UNSW said.
Phosphorus-31 has been selected by the researchers as it has two possible nuclear spins and it could be an ideal isotope for solid-state quantum computing. Moreover, phosphorus and silicon would be compatible with the CMOS sensors used in processors these days.
“But this device is perfect”, says Professor Michelle Simmons, group leader and director of the ARC Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at UNSW. “This is the first time anyone has shown control of a single atom in a substrate with this level of precise accuracy.”
Single atom transistor would come in the processors in the near future as it is still a very expensive technology.
This research has been published online in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
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