Coloured SEM of a single-electron transistor

Coloured SEM of a single-electron transistor

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Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Single-electron transistor. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a single-electron transistor. Like the larger transistors it is designed to replace, it has three parts, positive and negative terminals (lower left and right) with a "gate" (centre) situated in the few nanometres between them. Altering the current on the gate alters the state of the transistor (from "on" to "off"). In a normal transistor, this requires thousands of electrons worth of charge, but this device can be activated by a single electron. This means more transistors can fit on a silicon chip, making it faster, more powerful and more efficient. Magnification unknown.

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Keywords: chip, electron micrograph, electronic, electronics, gate, high-tech, integrated circuit, microchip, scanning, sem, silicon, silicon chip, single-electron, single-electron transis, single-electron transistor, technology, transistor

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