For the transistor important properties of the semiconductor. Modern transistors are based mostly on silicon. Scientists are constantly looking for a replacement for this material. As one of the alternatives to silicon being considered even carbon. But, it turns out that this role can play metal, not a semiconductor. How is this possible?
In a modern computer chip the number of transistors, sometimes billions. Transistors now produced are based on semiconductor materials, usually silicon.
The demand for computer chips for notebooks, tablets and smartphones continues to grow, and this means that there are new technologies of production of those critical components that can make them more flexible and energy efficient and of course, inexpensive.
The group headed by Dr. Christian Klink (Christian Klinke) from Hamburg University succeeded in the production of transistors, which is based on a very different principle than the one that is now used in the industry. The new design used metal nanoparticles that are so small that they have not shown the properties of the metal under the influence of electric current, but manifest themselves as the energy gap (energy gap), which is caused by the Coulomb repulsion of electrons from each other.
Under the influence of the control voltage undergoes an energy shift of the gap, and the current can thus be switched on and off. Unlike previous attempts to create such a technical solution, the nanoparticles are not individual coating structure, the application which is a very complex production process, and the properties of these components are unreliable. Instead, nanoparticles are applied as a thin film to a height of only a single layer of nanoparticles. Using this method, it is possible to make electric characteristics of the devices custom and almost identical.
These Coulomb transistors have three main advantages, which make them interesting for future commercial applications. First of all, the synthesis of metal nanoparticles within colloidal chemistry is a very well-controlled and scalable process. The result is a very small nanocrystal that can be stored in solutions and can be easily used.
Technology Langmuir — Blodgett allows you to create high-quality single-layer film and may be applied on an industrial scale. Thus, the new development allows the use of standard lithographic techniques for component design and their integration into electrical circuits to make devices cheap, flexible, and available for production within the industry.
Transistors, which result in their production on the considered method, more than 90% of cases show the ability to switch and operate at temperature up to room. Cheap transistors and computer chips that can be produced by this method are characterized by reduced power consumption. In the future, perhaps the application of this technology in industry. The results of the study were published in scientific journal Science Advances.
Scientific interest in the study and the fact that the metallic particles exhibit properties similar to the properties of the semiconductor. The reason is their small size. Of course, still have to do considerable research, but what has been made, shows an alternative to the usual transistors exist, and may in the future find a use in various devices.
Development of a group of scientists can be used not only as transistors. Also interesting is the possibility of its application as chemical sensors, since the gaps between the nanoparticles, acting as tunnel barriers, a highly sensitive chemical coatings.
How promising, in your opinion, a new method for the production of transistors?
How to replace the silicon metal in the transistors?