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Posted: Apr 07, 2011
Avto Metals Receives Patent for Quantum Transistor
(Nanowerk News) Avto Metals plc has received a U.S. patent for a new type of quantum transistor that could make possible smaller, more powerful electronic devices of all sorts. The technology uses a recently-discovered quantum interference effect that will enable transformation of existing materials into materials with precisely-defined properties for almost any electronic application.
"This fundamental improvement in the underlying physics of transistors should translate to more advanced electronic devices of all kinds that are more reliable, faster, and ultimately cheaper," said Isaiah W. Cox, president of Avto Metals plc, which is developing the technology.
The new patent, U.S. 7,893,422, titled "Transistor on the Basis of New Quantum Interference Effect," reflects discoveries by Avto Metals Principal Scientist, Avto Tavkhelidze.
In recent years, much research has been directed toward the development of quantum transistors. Forms that have been proposed include the Aharanow-Bohm quantum phase transistor, quantum well transistor, quantum-tunnelling transistor, and quantum diffraction transistor.
The Avto transistor, instead, exploits the wave properties of electrons, which become useful only when the dimensions of a structure reach nanoscales. New capabilities to fabricate materials at nanoscales make possible many new technologies and products by modifying the surface geometry of a material in such a way that the wave properties of electrons become significant. The transistor disclosed in the new patent is one such future technology.
The patent describes a quantum interference transistor that comprises a thin metal film, an insulating layer above, and a smaller metal island on top. A potential barrier created by quantum interference exists in the film when the external voltage is zero. When a positive voltage is applied to the island, the barrier disappears and the flow of current in the island is controlled, thus enabling the transistor-like property of switching between open and closed states.
The net benefit of this new transistor is a more perfect "open" or "closed" condition, resulting in lower leakage currents, lower noise, and lower power consumption of devices built with these transistors. The technology can be employed in most modern semiconductor manufacturing processes.
Avto Metals is developing and licencing a variety of technologies exploiting the quantum interference effect, and expects to licence the quantum transistor technology to an electronics manufacturer.
Avto Metals plc, based in Gibraltar, is a subsidiary of Borealis Exploration Limited (PINKSHEETS: BOREF), a technology development holding company whose subsidiaries are developing new technologies including the Chorus Motor, ideal for electric or hybrid vehicles; the WheelTug aircraft electric drive system, which enables aircraft to taxi without using jet engines; new technologies for efficiently producing electrical power or cooling using quantum electron thermotunnelling; and photoelectric devices to more efficiently convert solar energy into electricity.