For more than a decade, engineers have been racing to shrink the size of components in integrated circuits. Now, a research team led by a UC Berkeley professor has surpassed a theoretical limit of physics and created the smallest transistor reported to date.
“The gate length is considered a defining dimension of the transistor. We demonstrated a 1-nanometer-gate transistor, showing that with the choice of proper materials, there is a lot more room to shrink our electronics,” said Ali Javey, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Transistor gates, which control the flow of electrons, are typically around 5-nanometers in conventional semiconductors. The key to making a smaller gate was to use carbon nanotubes and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), an engine lubricant commonly sold in auto parts shops.
The findings were published October 7 in the journal Science.