Thanks for the interest in this work! If anyone’s interested in more on the science behind the story, including details on how the diodes were constructed and tested, we’ve set the original research article free to access for the next four weeks; you can find it here: http://www.materialsviews.com/details/news/874437/New_Diodes_Quantum_Tunnel_Their_Way_To_Improved_Electronics.html
Hi Colin. We haven't spoken since I was with Phiar, the company you reference in the above. While quantum tunneling unlocks much higher frequency operation, the seminal question is "who cares?" Near-term, the only mm-wave market of interest seems to be the 60GHz consumer electronics wireless space. SiBEAM and others have credibly demonstrated that silicon CMOS can operate at those frequencies. As your readers know, betting against CMOS is dangerous business...
Further, unless OSU has a working transistor, their diode is destin to remain forever in the lab. The market for discrete, high frequency, square law detector diodes is tiny. Integration atop silicon CMOS in real fabs will be required for MIM electronics to gain real traction.
Happily for students and your readers, the physics aren't as complex as one would think.
That is kind of what I think also... looks like the next shift is quantum physics in regards the semiconductor industry... not that the current don't use quantum science but that it is being used in such new ways that looks like the students of EE will have to have a quantum physics course added to their curricula... I remember I didn't have that. Students ... beware!
I am both looking forward to and dreading the onset of computing and communications based on quantum principles. For years I have had a working understanding of pretty much every technology used in modern electronics, but so far that has not helped me to understand how any of this works and how to use it. This is exciting to me because of the potential scale of it while I am also terrified that ultimately I may not understand it. Either way, I can't wait!