Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Spain's Polytechnic University of Madrid discovered that the alloy InGaAs (indium gallium arsenide) could potentially lead to smaller, more energy-efficient nonsilicon transistors.
InGaAs transistors process signals rapidly, with potential for faster calculations, and also can function at relatively low voltage; however, their electron transport properties appear to degrade at small scales.
By studying the transistor's frequency dependence, the team learned these issues are partly the result of oxide trapping, in which electrons get entangled while trying to flow through a transistor.
At frequencies of 1 gigahertz or higher, oxide trapping was no longer an impediment.
MIT's Xiaowei Cai said the transistors are "competitive with silicon technology."
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