# How are transistors and QM tied

• batmanandjoker
In summary, transistors operate using quantum mechanics, which is essential for understanding the behavior of semiconductors and their charge carriers. Superposition is a natural part of the description of these systems.
batmanandjoker
I know that transistors work using QM, but I don't know how, can someone explain this to me?

Practically everything special about them is owed to some quantum effect - so that would be a lot of typing.
Tell us first how you understand transisters working and then I'll show you the quantum :)

Meantime there are a lot of explanations online at various levels.
http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/devices/the-tunneling-transistor

Technically, of course, everything works using QM - it's just that some things exploit the special nature of QM more than others. The smaller the transistor (or anything) the more important the details of quantum effects become.

batmanandjoker said:
I know that transistors work using QM, but I don't know how, can someone explain this to me?

Transistors are made of semiconductors. The physics of semiconductors themselves can only be described using quantum mechanics. This is how one can understand the various types of doped semiconductors (n-type and p-type).

Next, when you sandwich these semiconductors together to form junctions (np, pn, npn, pnp, etc.) that make up a transistor, how they behave and their properties can only be described via quantum mechanics. This includes not only how the charges are transported, but also in describing tunnel diodes properties, a purely quantum phenomenon.

Zz.

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1 person
Are semi conducters in a state of superposition? I know its an exchane of electrons. Thanks

batmanandjoker said:
Are semi conducters in a state of superposition? I know its an exchane of electrons. Thanks

What exactly does that mean?

You need to remember that "superposition" comes "naturally" out of the way QM describes a system. It is almost an inevitable part of the description. We almost never ask such a question.

The semiconductor is not in a state of superposition. The charge carriers are, at least from the description used to arrive at the band structure.

I think, anything that goes beyond what I had answered will go over your head and it will simply be nothing more than random bits and pieces without any coherent picture.

Zz.

batmanandjoker said:
Are semi conducters in a state of superposition? I know its an exchane of electrons. Thanks
Pretty much as ZapperZ said - everything can be represented as a superposition of quantum states. You need to be more specific. What is your interest?

I don't think it is useful to consider the quantum state of the whole semiconductor when you are thinking about how it works. Better to think of the state of the individual charge carriers.
In operation, they are always represented as superpositions of some kind.

Don't know what you mean by "exchange of electrons". I suspect you are confusing terminology. Understanding about electrons and holes is essential to understanding semiconductors: gives you a starting place for searching the web :)

## 1. How are transistors and quantum mechanics related?

The connection between transistors and quantum mechanics lies in the fundamental behavior of electrons. Transistors, which are the building blocks of modern electronics, rely on the controlled flow of electrons through a semiconductor material. This flow of electrons is described by quantum mechanics, which governs the behavior of particles at the atomic and subatomic level.

## 2. What role do quantum effects play in transistors?

Quantum effects, such as tunneling and superposition, are crucial in the operation of transistors. These effects allow for the precise control of electron flow through the transistor, enabling it to act as a switch or amplifier.

## 3. How does quantum tunneling affect transistor performance?

Quantum tunneling, also known as tunneling probability, is the phenomenon where particles can pass through energy barriers even if they do not have enough energy to do so classically. In transistors, this effect allows for the transfer of electrons from the source to the drain, even when the barrier between them is high. This can cause leakage current and affect the efficiency and accuracy of the transistor's function.

## 4. Can quantum mechanics be used to improve transistor technology?

Yes, quantum mechanics has been instrumental in the development of advanced transistor technology, such as quantum transistors and single-electron transistors. These devices take advantage of the unique properties of quantum mechanics to improve performance and enable new functionalities.

## 5. Are there any challenges in incorporating quantum mechanics into transistors?

Although quantum mechanics has greatly contributed to the advancement of transistor technology, there are also challenges in incorporating it into practical devices. One of the main challenges is controlling and manipulating quantum effects at the macroscopic scale required for transistors. This requires precise engineering and fabrication techniques, which are still being developed.

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