EO

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

01 oktober 2018 om 14:54 uur

The single-atom transistor that works in a gel electrolyte reaches the limit of miniaturization. (Photo: Group of Professor Thomas Schimmel/KIT)

At the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), physicist Professor Thomas Schimmel and his team have developed a single-atom transistor, the smallest transistor worldwide. This quantum electronics component switches an electrical current by controlled repositioning of a single atom, now also in the solid state in a gel electrolyte. The single-atom transistor works at room temperature and has an extremely low energy consumption, opening up entirely new perspectives for information technology.


Digitization results in a high energy consumption. In industrialized countries, information technology presently has a share of more than 10% in total power consumption. The transistor is the central element of digital data processing in computing centers, PCs, smartphones, or in embedded systems for many applications from the washing machine to the airplane. A commercially available low-cost USB memory stick already contains several billion transistors. In future, the single-atom transistor developed by Professor Thomas Schimmel and his team at the Institute of Applied Physics (APH) of KIT might considerably enhance energy efficiency in information technology. "This quantum electronics element enables switching energies smaller than those of conventional silicon technologies by a factor of 10,000," says physicist and nanotechnology expert Schimmel, who conducts research at the APH, the Institute of Nanotechnology (INT), and the Material Research Center for Energy Systems (MZE) of KIT. Earlier this year, Professor Schimmel, who is considered the pioneer of single-atom electronics, was appointed Co-Director of the Center for Single-Atom Electronics and Photonics established jointly by KIT and ETH Zurich.

 

In Advanced Materials, the KIT researchers present the transistor that reaches the limits of miniaturization. The scientists produced two minute metallic contacts. Between them, there is a gap as wide as a single metal atom. "By an electric control pulse, we position a single silver atom into this gap and close the circuit," Professor Thomas Schimmel explains. "When the silver atom is removed again, the circuit is interrupted." The world's smallest transistor switches current through the controlled reversible movement of a single atom. Contrary to conventional quantum electronics components, the single-atom transistor does not only work at extremely low temperatures near absolute zero, i.e. -273°C, but already at room temperature. This is a big advantage for future applications.

 

The single-atom transistor is based on an entirely new technical approach. The transistor exclusively consists of metal, no semiconductors are used. This results in extremely low electric voltages and, hence, an extremely low energy consumption. So far, KIT's single-atom transistor has applied a liquid electrolyte. Now, Thomas Schimmel and his team have designed a transistor that works in a solid electrolyte. The gel electrolyte produced by gelling an aqueous silver electrolyte with pyrogenic silicon dioxide combines the advantages of a solid with the electrochemical properties of a liquid. In this way, both safety and handling of the single-atom transistor are improved.

 

Hoe vindt u het als wij ook Engelstalige artikelen publiceren?

Stem hier

 

Gerelateerd nieuws

10e Engineering Event Safety

Tiende Safety Event: leren (van fouten) moet

Het tiende Safety Event op dinsdag 14 mei had weer een gevarieerd programma met een aantal lezingen en learnshops. Een korte inhoud van een drietal lezingen:

Zeven oorzaken van ongevallen op het werk

Zeven oorzaken van ongevallen op het werk

Wat zijn de voornaamste oorzaken van ongevallen op het werk? Er zijn de nodige statistieken hierover maar ook experts wereldwijd komen met eigen lijsten. De Amerikaanse Julie Copeland, CEO van Arbill (Amerikaans bedrijf…

Blikprintbedrijf beboet na ernstig ongeval

Blikprintbedrijf beboet na ernstig ongeval

Een bedrijf in Swansea (VK) dat blik en metaal bedrukt is beboet nadat een werknemer ernstig gewond raakte tijdens het werken aan een drukpers.

Webshop

webshop

 

Gratis nieuwsbrief

EOL

 

Product van de maand

RSS
Nieuw! Lichtschermen PSENopt II - van top tot teen volledig beveiligd

Pilz maakt het portfolio met lichtschermen compleet: De lichtschermen PSENopt II zijn niet alleen verkrijgbaar voor...

Focus op

ABB BV
ABB BV

Machineveiligheid, systemen en componenten

B&R Industriële Automatisering BV *
B&R Industriële Automatisering BV *

Perfection in Automation

Pilz Nederland
Pilz Nederland

Voor industriële (veilige) automatiseringsoplossingen

Ringspann Benelux BV
Ringspann Benelux BV

Partner in aandrijf- en opspantechniek

Rotero Holland BV
Rotero Holland BV

Stappenmotor - Servomotor - Elektro Magneet

Tosec
Tosec

Specialist in plaatbewerking

Download gratis engineering boeken

A gratis boeken downloaden

 

Agenda

20 mei 2019, Eindhoven

Dutch Technology Week

Tijdens de Dutch Technology Week worden in heel Nederland wonderlijke en innovatieve technologieverhalen...

21 mei 2019, Mercure Hotel Roeselare

UPDATE MACHINEVEILIGHEID

Bij de laatste ontwikkelingen in machineveiligheid horen ook moderne interpretaties.

22 mei 2019, LIMTEC+ Diepenbeek

UPDATE MACHINEVEILIGHEID

Bij de laatste ontwikkelingen in machineveiligheid horen ook moderne interpretaties.

Meer agendapunten »