The Quantum Dot: 7 individual atoms form the world’s tiniest transistor

It is a first in the annals of Quantum Computer Technology. Australian Scientists at the UNSW (University of New South Wales) Centre for Quantum Computer Technology (CQCT), an Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence, have manipulated individual atoms [of a silicon crystal] to create a working electronic device.

[Twenty years ago, Don Eigler and Erhard Schweizer at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, used a scanning tunnelling microscope to place 35 xenon atoms individually on a nickel surface to write the letters ‘IBM’ — the world’s smallest logo.]

Hailed as a huge technological achievement — and a critical step to demonstrating that it is possible to build the ultimate computer, a quantum computer, in silicon — this “Quantum Dot” can be used to regulate and control electrical current flow just like a commercial transistor.

At present, the length of a commercial transistor gate – which allows the transistor to act as a switch for an electrical current – is about 40 nanometres (billionths of a metre). The CQCT team is now making devices with features about 10 times smaller at 4 nanometres.

In a Letter abstract published in Nature Nanotechnology, the authors discuss how silicon quantum dots can revolutionize the manufacturing of CMOS devices [such as the CMOS image sensors in digital cameras?].

[ via Physorg ]
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1 Comment

  • I wasn’t aware that quantum dots were in any way related to transistors, thanks for enlightening me.