German researchers have built a quantum transistor using just a single atom
“A team of researchers at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have developed a quantum transistor using just a single atom, and capable of operating at room temperature.
The device points toward major new frontiers in computing power and efficiency. Transistors, which control the flow of electronic signals, are the basis of modern electronics. The steady reduction in the size and energy consumption of transistors has been the fundamental driver of advances in computing power for more than half a century.
The new transistor moves a single atom of silver to open and close a circuit. The materials-science news site Nanowerk describes it as the world’s smallest transistor, though other single-atom transistors have been developed previously. More importantly, the new device is described as a so-called ‘quantum’ switch, meaning it can carry more complex information than the binary “on-off” signal of today’s transistors…”
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