Scientists have created the world’s smallest transistor, one little bigger than a single molecule.
A team in Manchester last year announced that it had created transistors that measured 50 atoms across. Now they have slashed the size of the transistors to just 10 atoms, marking the first true electronic nanocomponent, where a nanometre is one billionth of a metre, and a single human hair is 100,000 nanometres across.
The University of Manchester team led by Prof Andre Geim has been fashioning the transistors from the world’s thinnest material, called graphene, consisting of carbon atoms a single layer thick, arranged in a hexagonal pattern like that seen in chicken wire.
Working with Dr Kostya Novoselov, he believes that the world’s smallest transistor, described in the journal Science, could spark the development of super-fast computer chips.