Feeds

UK researchers reveal room-temperature graphene transistor

You electrons - one at a time, please

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Boffins at Britain's University of Manchester have created a transistor out of an atom-thick sheet of carbon. The high-speed device is so small only one electron can pass through at once. Crucially, the transistor operates at room temperature making it potentially viable for future microprocessors.

Details of the breakthrough were announced in the science journal Nature this week. The team, led by Professor Andre Geim of the Manchester Centre for Mesoscience and Nanotechnology, built the transistor from graphene, an allotrope of carbon that essentially fits all its constituent carbon atoms into a single plane. Discovered only three years ago, graphene is highly conductive.

The transistor itself is of a type known as the single-electron transistor. The controlling gate electrode is capacitively coupled to an electrode called the island, which sits between the source and the drain. At a certain voltage the island forms what's known as a Coulomb blockade, preventing an electron in the source quantum mechanically tunneling through to the island and then through to the drain. Apply a positive voltage to the gate, and the electron is free to pass from source to island to drain.

The single-electron transistor design is not only inherently very small, but the tiny voltages required to switch it on and off make it very sensitive, to the extent that it's seen as a possible fast yet low-power successor to today's chip transistors.

The single-electron transistor isn't a new design, but past attempts to create one have used more standard semiconductor materials, all of which have needed cooling to near absolute zero to operate. The graphene single-electron transistor operates at room temperature.

There's still some way to go to create a working chip from graphene single-electron transistors. Etching the transistor isn't a certain process - most attempts produce transistors that are too large to allow just one electron to pass through, and the process makes structural changes to the graphene around the transistor that can scatter electrons, the effect of which is not yet fully understood.

However, the research may well show how chip designers may continue their work once they have exceeded the limits of silicon.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.