Electron Tube Based Transistors

Almost every electronic circuit in existence is made from semiconductors carrying electrons (although sometimes not) from one place to another. But due to things such as semiconductors band gap and the generally low drift velocity of the electrons. These are things that can be improved but will always be a hindrance as they are intrinsically linked to what makes semiconductors semiconductors. But a new idea has came  along. The thing that causes the resistance are the atoms in the electrons way and so by instead of using grooves of semiconductors, grooves of contained vacuum could be used instead. However, convincing electrons to be emitted into a vacuum is quite difficult. Thermionic emission requires high temperature and would need a large potential difference to maintain it. The photoelectric effect would need radiation of a very high energy, typically at least ultraviolet, constantly dosing a metal plate. The breakthrough comes from a specially engineered surface containing electrons of a certain resonant frequency. This material only requires infrared radiation to stimulate it and when this happens electrons tunnel out of the metal in a great enough quantity to be useful. Getting rid of the semiconductors would mean that components could become scales more powerful, fast and controlled. Currently only a few basic components like transistors and switches have been built but there is always possibility for improvement and with the possible reward being so great, research will surely be focused on this idea for quite some time.


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