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World's smallest transistor created

Scientists have created the world's smallest transistor, a feat which they claim could spark the development of super-fast computer chips in the future.

world Updated: Apr 20, 2008 15:47 IST

Scientists have created the world's smallest transistor, measuring a little bigger than a molecule, a feat which they claim could spark the development of super-fast computer chips in the future.



Using the world's thinnest material called graphene, a team at University of Manchester has produced the transistor which is one atom thick and ten atoms wide, marking the first true electronic nanocomponent, the 'Science' journal reported.



Four years ago, they discovered graphene, the first known one-atom-thick material which can be viewed as a plane of atoms pulled out from graphite.



Now, the researchers led by Professor Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov have shown that it's possible to carve out nanometre scale transistors from a single graphene crystal. Unlike other known materials, graphene remains highly stable and conductive even when it is cut into devices one nanometre wide.



The smaller the size of the transistors, the better they perform, according to them. Transistors made of graphene start showing advantages at sizes below ten nanometres, the miniaturisation limit at which traditional silicon-based technology is predicted to actually fail.