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The world's smallest precision transistor a leap forward

The world's smallest precision transistor a leap forward

A functioning miniature transistor the size of a single atom may just be the breakthrough needed to develop the next generation of ultra-fast computers.

Researchers at the ARC Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication at the University of New South Wales have successfully created a working transistor using a single phosphorus atom.

The breakthrough is significant  because it is the first time researchers have been able to manipulate individual atoms with such precision, in order to make a working electronic device. It may be the needed building block for the development of future quantum (ultra-fast) computers, which relies upon being able to control quantum states - for instance individual electrons - to deliver enormous processing power.

Lead researcher, Professor Michelle Simmons said it is a beautiful demonstration of controlling matter at the atomic-scale to make a real device.

“Fifty years ago when the first transistor was first developed, no one could have predicted the role that computers would play in our society today.”

“As we transition to atomic-scale devices, we are now entering a new paradigm where  quantum mechanics promises a similar technological disruption. It is the promise of this future technology that makes this present development so exciting”. The ARC has provided $24.5 million over 7 years for  the Centre.

For more information about the ARC Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication, visit


Image Credit: Quantum Motion

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