Researchers at the Tyndall National Institute in Cork, Ireland have announced a breakthrough in transistors and nanoelectronics with the design and fabrication of what they claim is the world's first junctionless transistor.The research led by Professor Jean-Pierre Colinge has been published in Nature Nanotechnology and describes a control gate around a silicon nanowire that can tighten around the wire to the point of closing down the passage of electrons without the use of junctions or doping.
Colinge and his researchers expect that the design will prove particularly applicable in the manufacturing of transistors at the 10-nanometer scale.
The researchers are claiming that the transistor has a host of benefits, including “a near-ideal sub-threshold slope, extremely low leakage currents and less degradation of mobility with gate voltage and temperature than classical transistors” and perfectly compatible with CMOS manufacturing processes.
Tyndall CEO, Professor Roger Whatmore is quoted in the story referenced above as saying, "We are beginning to talk about these results with some of the world's leading semiconductor companies and are receiving a lot of interest in further development and possible licensing of the technology.If the speed at which industry has pounced upon the research is any indication of its significance, this could be important indeed.
Dexter Johnson is a contributing editor at IEEE Spectrum, with a focus on nanotechnology.