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World's smallest transistor built with just 7 atoms.

Scientists have literally taken a leap into a new era of computing power by making the world's smallest precision-built transistor - a "quantum dot" of just seven atoms in a single silicon crystal. Despite its incredibly tiny size - a mere four billionths of a metre long - the quantum dot is a functioning electronic device, the world's first created deliberately by placing individual atoms.

It can be used to regulate and control electrical current flow like a commercial transistor but it represents a key step into a new age of atomic-scale miniaturisation and super-fast, super-powerful computers.

The discovery is reported today in the journal Nature Nanotechnology by a team from the UNSW Centre for Quantum Computer Technology (CQCT) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"The Australian team has been able to fabricate an electronic device entirely out of crystalline silicon where we have replaced just seven individual silicon atoms with phosphorus atoms.

Src: [ via University of New South Wales]

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