The ebook FEEE - Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering and Electronics is based on material originally written by T.R. Kuphaldt and various co-authors. For more information please read the copyright pages.

Single Electron Transistor

If a pair of conductors, superconductors, or semiconductors are separated by a pair tunnel barriers (insulator), surrounding a tiny conductive island, like a quantum dot, the flow of a single charge (a Cooper pair for superconductors) may be controlled by a gate. This is single electron transistor similar to Figure 3433 (c). Increasing the positive charge on the gate, allows an electron to tunnel to the island. If it is sufficiently small, the low capacitance will cause the dot potential to rise substantially due to the single electron. No more electrons can tunnel to the island due the electron charge. This is known at the coulomb blockade. The electron which tunneled to the island, can tunnel to the drain.

Single electron transistors operate at near absolute zero. The exception is the graphene single electron transistor, having a graphene island. They are all experimental devices.

Last Update: 2010-11-19