Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Australia Science

Researchers Create 4nm Transistor With Seven Atoms 120

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the xanthir-has-almost-70k-hp dept.
EmagGeek writes "University researchers have created a transistor by replacing just seven atoms of silicon with phosphorous. The seven-atom transistor has hopeful implications for the future of quantum cryptography, nuclear and weather modeling, and other applications. 'The significance of this achievement is that we are not just moving atoms around or looking at them through a microscope,' says Professor Michelle Simmons, a co-author of a paper on the subject that is being published by Nature Nanotechnology. The paper is entitled 'Spectroscopy of Few-Electron Single-Crystal Silicon Quantum Dots'."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Researchers Create 4nm Transistor With Seven Atoms

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @10:34AM (#32348454)

    It sounds like they did this by moving single atoms at a time, and not through any kind of lithography, or mass-producible process. So while neat, like the single atom transistor story from a while back, it doesn't look like they really have a way to produce billions of these at a time. We may have to wait a long time before we see anything like this in our home PCs.

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @11:12AM (#32348936)

    It'll take a really wicked manufacturing process to ever make, too. 7 atoms? What if you get only 6? What if you get 8? What if one is slightly off position?

    Building a car with 4 wheels? What if you only get 3? What if you get 5? What if one is slightly off position?

    An automated process doesn't care about size. What they did, can be replicated. Thus, it can be automated, unless there's a creative process involved that implies the use of a human mind, which I strongly doubt.

    If the automation is too slow, it can be multiplied. If multiplying is still not enough, the process itself of creating and assembling multiple automatons can be multiplied.

    Price vs usefulness of the final product may well be a problem, but size isn't. It was until it was solved, which is precisely the point of the news.

  • by tom17 (659054) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @11:13AM (#32348956) Homepage
    and 640K should be enough for anyone too, right?
  • Applications (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dohzer (867770) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @11:19AM (#32349020) Homepage

    The seven-atom transistor has very hopeful implications for the future of quantum cryptography, nuclear and weather modeling, and other applications.

    Why not just say that it will lead to faster computers?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @11:21AM (#32349050)

    You probably don't need a quantum computer to wait on I/O in your home PC.

    You also probably don't need more than 640K.

  • by N0Man74 (1620447) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @11:22AM (#32349068)

    The present?

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @11:35AM (#32349224)

    In macroscopic terms the world is simple. The finer the resolution the more complex the world gets. In nanoscopic terms the world is complicated.

    Making chips is considerably harder than making bricks; and yet we do make both.

    Our current technology allows us to automate macroscopic processes with high precision. Nanotechnology however is one leading edge technology, and as such the precision certainly isn't there to make a fair comparison to automated macroscopic processes.

    Making chips was once leading edge technology, not comparable to making bricks; and yet we made both.

    Think of a doctor performing surgery: a large benign tumor in section of fat could be easily removed, while a miniscule brain tumor would probably be one of the most difficult to remove.

    Removing a minuscule brain tumor is much harder than amputating a leg; and yet we do both.

    That's precisely the point of science and technology. Some guy spends years doing something that was previously impossible. Some other guys try little variants on the same action. And then a guy develops a process of doing the exact same thing but better, faster and cheaper.

    Once the action passes through the imposibility barrier, the steps from "breakthough" to "mundane" are well known. We've spent several thousand years walking those steps on each new discovery.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen

Working...