Annual Report 2002 - Cornell University
003 Selected Faculty Research

13 Creating the single-atom transistor

Paul L. McEuen, Physics, and colleagues at the Cornell Center for Materials Research created a single-atom transistor. The research team, including Daniel C. Ralph, Physics, implanted a "designer" molecule (designed by Héctor D. Abruña, Chemistry and Chemical Biology) between two gold electrodes to create a circuit. When the researchers applied voltage to the transistor, electrons flowed through a single cobalt atom. Although the device does not have all the functions of a traditional transistor, such as amplification, it has potential application as a chemical sensor, and it demonstrates the potential for shrinking the size of components far beyond the capability of conventional lithographic techniques for future electronic applications.

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