PhysOrg reports researchers have fabricated 3-5nm transistors that take advantage of quantum confinement effects to reach higher performance:
In their study, the researchers lithographically fabricated silicon nanowires with diameters of just 3-5 nanometers. With a diameter this small, the nanowires experience quantum confinement effects that cause the nanowires’ properties to change from their bulk values. Specifically, transistors made with the thin nanowires have improved hole mobility, drive current, and current density – properties that make the transistors operate more quickly and efficiently. The transistors’ performance even surpasses recently reported silicon nanowire transistors that use doping to improve their performance.
“The significance of this research is that we have demonstrated that increasing the degree of quantum confinement of the silicon channel results in increasing the carrier mobility,” Hu told PhysOrg.com. “We provide experimental proof of the theoretically simulated high hole mobility of about 3-nm-diameter nanowires.”