Quantum transistor promises easier fab than Intel’s 3D transistor

June 14, 2011 – Marketwire — Avto Metals plc’s Avto Quantum Transistor (AQT), on which it recently received a US patent, modulates electrical signals via a tunneling electron either constructively or destructively interfering with electrons’ wave function in a gate material.

Benefits of the quantum-effect transistor include smaller size, faster operation, and lower power and heat. Avto claims that the transistor is easier to manufacture than advanced-concept transistors, such as Intel Corporation’s "trigate" 22nm node 3D transistor.

Avto uses a "unique surface geometry," fabricated at the nanoscale, to influence electron wave properties and current flow, said Dr. Hans Walitzki, director of product development.

Avto’s transistor uses a metal current conductor rather than conventional semiconductor materials, claiming lower resistance for lower electrical losses and less heat. Gate capacitance is lower than that of Intel’s 3D transistor and similar semiconductor designs, Avto states, owing to a "small island" gate strucure.

The transistor is built upon a solid insulator, or an isolating film, on a bulk wafer. Radiation hardness equals or exceeds that of standard silicon on sapphire or silicon on insulator (SOI) devices. This thick insulation layer is reportedly better at sheilding the transistor from current leaks and single-event effect (SEE) charges from ionizing radiation than single depletion layer materials.

Avto’s patent, US Patent 7,893,422, "Transistor on the Basis of New Quantum Interference Effect," describes a quantum interference transistor made of a thin metal film with source and drain zones, a several-angstroms-thick insulating layer above the thin film, and a smaller metal island gate on top. The quantum interference effect in the thin film creates a potential barrier (V=0) or does not exist (V=Vc), explained Dr. Walitzki. "When the potential-barrier exists it is a case of a closed transistor and when no potential-barrier exists it is a case of an open transistor." Walitzki says this results in more perfect open and closed conditions, avoiding current leakage, noise, and wasted power.

Most modern semiconductor manufacturing processes can use the technology.

Avto will now recruit research partners in industry and academia to build and evaluate pilot devices incorporating the Avto Quantum Transistor, and quantify its performance in detail. After the next stage of technology development, Avto Metals will license the transistor technology to IC manufacturers.

Initial adopters will include designers of space-based electronic systems and military electronics, added Walitzki.

The company recently received two additional US patents covering related technologies: U.S. 9,735,954, "Artificial Band Gap," and U.S. 9,728,630, "Monolithic Thermionic Converter."

Avto Metals plc, based in Gibraltar, is a subsidiary of Borealis Exploration Limited (PINKSHEETS: BOREF), a technology development holding company whose subsidiaries are developing new technologies that are entirely privately funded. Learn more at www.avtometals.gi.

Other quantum-effect transistors:

  • Aharonov-Bohm quantum phase transistor
  • quantum well transistor
  • quantum-tunneling transistor
  • quantum diffraction transistor

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