New material structure produces world's fastest transistor

Apr 11, 2005

A new type of transistor structure, invented by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has broken the 600 gigahertz speed barrier. The goal of a terahertz transistor for high-speed computing and communications applications could now be within reach.

The new device -- built from indium phosphide and indium gallium arsenide -- is designed with a compositionally graded collector, base and emitter to reduce transit time and improve current density. With their pseudomorphic heterojunction bipolar transistor, the researchers have demonstrated a speed of 604 gigahertz -- the fastest transistor operation to date.

"Pseudomorphic grading of the material structure allows us to lower the bandgap in selected areas," said Milton Feng, the Holonyak Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a researcher at the Coordinated Science Laboratory at Illinois. "This permits faster electron flow in the collector. The compositional grading of the transistor components also improves current density and signal charging time."

Feng and graduate student Walid Hafez fabricated the new device in the university's Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory. They describe the pseudomorphic HBT concept, and discuss the transistor's high-speed operation, in the April 11 issue of the journal Applied Physics Letters.

The goal of a terahertz transistor was not possible using the previous device structure, Feng said. "To achieve such speed in a typical HBT, the current density would become so large it would melt the components. In our pseudomorphic HBT, we can operate at higher frequencies with less current density. With this new material structure, a terahertz transistor is achievable."

Faster transistors could facilitate faster computers, more flexible and secure wireless communications systems, and more effective electronic combat systems.

Explore further: Mechatronic arm exoskeleton to train new soldiers to reach shooting proficiency

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Italian surveillance company appears to get hacked

1 hour ago

An Italian surveillance company known for selling malicious software used by police bodies and spy agencies appears to have succumbed to a damaging cyberattack that sent documents and invoices ricocheting ...

Amazon pushes Prime service with day of deals

1 hour ago

Amazon is trying to lure more subscribers to its $99 Prime loyalty program by pushing a day of discounts it calls "Prime Day" during the sleepier summer shopping season.

Researchers build first working memcomputer prototype

5 hours ago

(Tech Xplore)—A combined team of researchers from the University of California and Politecnico di Torino in Italy has built, for the first time, a working memory-crunching computer (memcomputer) prototype. ...

Europe's deepest glider to be developed

5 hours ago

19 partners from across Europe have come together to develop Europe's first ultra-deep-sea robot glider. This glider will be capable of sampling the ocean autonomously at depths of 5000m, and maybe more in ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.