Controlling the Polarity of Silicon Nanowire Transistors

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Science  21 Jun 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6139, pp. 1414-1415
DOI: 10.1126/science.1238630

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Each generation of integrated circuit (IC) technology has led to new applications. The most recent advances have enabled noninvasive surgery, three-dimensional (3D) games and movies, and intelligent cars, to name a few. A single chip can contain more than 1 billon elementary devices, and this gain in complexity has been achieved by fabricating nanometer-scale transistors used as switches or memories. Recent experimental work by De Marchi et al. (1) describes changes to the structure of one of the most basic bricks of ICs by controlling the type of conduction occurring in vertically stacked silicon (Si) nanowire transistors (see the figure, panels A and B), thus making a programmable transistor.