Category Archives: Semiconductors

Static RAM created out of carbon nanotubes

We’re already at the point where the features we etch into processors are about the same size as some molecules—hemoglobin, for example, is five nanometers across. Too much smaller, and the behavior of electrons will become dominated by quantum effects, potentially causing some unpredictable behavior.

One potential solution to this is to actually use individual molecules to create the features on chips. Carbon nanotubes are promising candidates, as they naturally come in both semiconducting and metallic forms. But getting the right kind of nanotubes into a structure where they perform consistently has been a challenge.

Now, a team has shown that the properties of nanotubes can be manipulated and preserved in a way that could make them useful for electronics. While the work was done with populations of nanotubes rather than single molecules, it did manage to turn the nanotubes into functional RAM.

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Researchers craft atom-thick version of a junction used in transistors

The discovery that it was possible to isolate graphene, a single-atom thick sheet of carbon, has opened the door to the development of a variety of atomically thin materials, many with distinctive properties. But developing devices using these 2D materials is challenging. A lot of the traditional techniques for manipulating their behavior either don’t work or require that the 2D material be linked to bulkier, three-dimensional hardware.

Now, some researchers may have taken a tiny step toward developing a device that’s entirely one atom thick. They’ve managed to create a key electrical junction, used in devices like diodes and transistors, from two different 2D materials. The border between these materials is atomically sharp, and the sheets themselves are only a few hundred picometers deep.

The device in question is called a p-n junction. It’s formed at the boundary between (wait for it) p-type semiconductors and n-type semiconductors. The p-type tends to have “holes” that are missing an electron, while the n-type is characterized by an excess of electrons. Normally, these are formed by “doping,” or adding small numbers of other atoms to a crystal of silicon. They’re key components of diodes, transistors, LEDs, and photovoltaic cells, so being able to produce them is critical to pretty much all of modern electronics.

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An Introduction to Semiconductor Physics, Technology, and Industry

Learning about semiconductor physics and technology can be a daunting task. While it’s easy enough to understand what a transistor does and some of the terminology thrown around, getting into the deeper aspects of how things work is tough. A great deal of the information on the internet is simply too cryptic to understand, even for those that want to learn. If you've wanted a primer to help bridge the gap, read on as we explore the lower level details of semiconductor physics and technology.

An Introduction to Semiconductor Physics, Technology, and Industry

Learning about semiconductor physics and technology can be a daunting task. While it’s easy enough to understand what a transistor does and some of the terminology thrown around, getting into the deeper aspects of how things work is tough. A great deal of the information on the internet is simply too cryptic to understand, even for those that want to learn. If you've wanted a primer to help bridge the gap, read on as we explore the lower level details of semiconductor physics and technology.

An Introduction to Semiconductor Physics, Technology, and Industry

Learning about semiconductor physics and technology can be a daunting task. While it’s easy enough to understand what a transistor does and some of the terminology thrown around, getting into the deeper aspects of how things work is tough. A great deal of the information on the internet is simply too cryptic to understand, even for those that want to learn. If you've wanted a primer to help bridge the gap, read on as we explore the lower level details of semiconductor physics and technology.

An Introduction to Semiconductor Physics, Technology, and Industry

Learning about semiconductor physics and technology can be a daunting task. While it’s easy enough to understand what a transistor does and some of the terminology thrown around, getting into the deeper aspects of how things work is tough. A great deal of the information on the internet is simply too cryptic to understand, even for those that want to learn. If you've wanted a primer to help bridge the gap, read on as we explore the lower level details of semiconductor physics and technology.

An Introduction to Semiconductor Physics, Technology, and Industry

Learning about semiconductor physics and technology can be a daunting task. While it’s easy enough to understand what a transistor does and some of the terminology thrown around, getting into the deeper aspects of how things work is tough. A great deal of the information on the internet is simply too cryptic to understand, even for those that want to learn. If you've wanted a primer to help bridge the gap, read on as we explore the lower level details of semiconductor physics and technology.

An Introduction to Semiconductor Physics, Technology, and Industry

Learning about semiconductor physics and technology can be a daunting task. While it’s easy enough to understand what a transistor does and some of the terminology thrown around, getting into the deeper aspects of how things work is tough. A great deal of the information on the internet is simply too cryptic to understand, even for those that want to learn. If you've wanted a primer to help bridge the gap, read on as we explore the lower level details of semiconductor physics and technology.

An Introduction to Semiconductor Physics, Technology, and Industry

Learning about semiconductor physics and technology can be a daunting task. While it’s easy enough to understand what a transistor does and some of the terminology thrown around, getting into the deeper aspects of how things work is tough. A great deal of the information on the internet is simply too cryptic to understand, even for those that want to learn. If you've wanted a primer to help bridge the gap, read on as we explore the lower level details of semiconductor physics and technology.

An Introduction to Semiconductor Physics, Technology, and Industry

Learning about semiconductor physics and technology can be a daunting task. While it’s easy enough to understand what a transistor does and some of the terminology thrown around, getting into the deeper aspects of how things work is tough. A great deal of the information on the internet is simply too cryptic to understand, even for those that want to learn. If you've wanted a primer to help bridge the gap, read on as we explore the lower level details of semiconductor physics and technology.