Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


World's Fastest Transistor Approaches Goal Of Terahertz Device

Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have again broken their own speed record for the world's fastest transistor.

With a frequency of 845 gigahertz, their latest device is approximately 300 gigahertz faster than transistors built by other research groups, and approaches the goal of a terahertz device.

Made from indium phosphide and indium gallium arsenide, "the new transistor utilizes a pseudomorphic grading of the base and collector regions," said Milton Feng, the Holonyak Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Illinois. "The compositional grading of these components enhances the electron velocity, hence, reduces both current density and charging time."

With their latest device, Feng and his research group have taken the transistor to a new range of high-speed operation, bringing the "Holy Grail" of a terahertz transistor finally within reach. Faster transistors translate into faster computers, more flexible and secure wireless communications systems, and more effective combat systems.

In addition to using pseudomorphic material construction, the researchers also refined their fabrication process to produce tinier transistor components. For example, the transistor's base is only 12.5 nanometers thick (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter, or about 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair).

"By scaling the device vertically, we have reduced the distance electrons have to travel, resulting in an increase in transistor speed," said graduate student William Snodgrass, who will describe the new device at the International Electronics Device Meeting in San Francisco, Dec. 11-13. "Because the size of the collector has also been reduced laterally, the transistor can charge and discharge faster."

Operated at room temperature (25 degrees Celsius), the transistor speed is 765 gigahertz. Chilled to minus 55 degrees Celsius, the speed increases to 845 gigahertz.

Feng, Snodgrass and graduate student Walid Hafez (now at Intel Corp.) fabricated the high-speed device in the university's Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory.

In addition to further increasing the transistor speed, Feng wants to reduce the current density even more, which will reduce junction temperature and improve device reliability.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency funded the work.

Editor's note: To reach Milton Feng, call 217-333-8080; e-mail:

James E. Kloeppel | University of Illinois
Further information:

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Greater Range and Longer Lifetime
26.10.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

nachricht 3-D-printed magnets
26.10.2016 | Vienna University of Technology

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>