Manchester Boffins demo smallest transistor ever

A team of researchers at the University of Manchester have built what is believed to be the smallest - and simplest - transistor in the world, one that is one atom thick and 10 atom wide.

The transistor is made up of graphene which can be found in pencil lead; graphene abundance and ability to conduct electricity in one dimension; Scientists from the University of Manchester first isolated and studied it since 2004.

The competition to find a replacement for silicon has been heating up as physical barriers make it quasi-impossible for semiconductors manufacturers to get the size below a certain limit; Intel is planning for a 10nm process while IBM has a 32nm available right now.

Experts predict that this wall will be reached by 2020 by which time, it might be commercially feasible to use graphene; the transistor that the Manchester Researchers have built is equivalent to a 1nm process.

Graphene is better than silicon since it conducts electricity faster and further; transistors based on the material could find their way in LCD displays where its one-atom thickness makes it a perfect replacement for more expensive conductive coatings.