A team of electrical engineers from the University of Utah has developed the smallest plasma transistors that can endure high temperatures and ionizing radiation. Measuring one to six microns long, these new transistors are 500 times smaller and operate at one-sixth of the voltage of current microplasma devices.
The transistors feature an air gap that leads ions and electronics from the plasma when voltage is applied. The channel was created by removing parts of the silicon film with a chemically reactive gas. During the study, the channel that was tested was 2 microns wide and 10 microns long and helium was used as the plasma source. A future use for these new devices could be used as an x-ray imaging source in smartphones that are used on a battlefield.
Read more about the smallest microscale plasma transistors developed to date.