This is not a new Idea, in fact a whole conference series was devoted to integrated vacuum microelectronics. I believe the last one was in 2003. It was the IEEE 16th International Conference on Vacuum Microelectronics.
One other comment.
This device should probably be benchmarked against multi-gate FinFet transistors.
Intel is the only company signed up to go to FinFet, but that would be the incumbent technology to beat.
All devices will work poorly when scaled below 20nm, where direct tunneling of electrons will make it hard to turn any switches off.
Moores law is near the end.
I am encouraged by the significant progress of quantum computing devices using qubits, but that transition is going to take a huge investment in resources and most of the EE community would need significant education just to understand how they work and how to make designs with them.
avtometals appears to be based on a very different mechanism. This does not constitute prior art for patents in the U.S.
I am frankly not very impressed by avtometals technology. It will be incredibly sensitive to small variations in geometry, and the electron momentum. I see a lot of problems with reducing this to practice.
I believe one of the key advantages of this kind of device is that the electrical properties of the channel of the device could be well controlled.
This device may mitigate transistor mismatch, which is a very significant challenge at 20nm.
I believe transistor mismatch largely prevents supply voltage reduction, which used to be effective for reducing power (not lately).
All the other technologies mentioned below suggest low switching voltages, but when you make a billion of them on a chip, it is hard to get them all to switch at the same voltage.
It would be interesting to see if this device addresses or mitigates device mismatch.
That was my question too. From what the article implies, although it doesn't provide any support for this, it sounds like the turn on voltage is lower and the device is faster?
The gate turn-on voltage is 0.5 V for this new device. In a bipolar silicon transistor, the turn-on voltage at the base is 0.7 V, is it not? Germanium transistors had a turn-on voltage of something lower, like 0.2 V. Don't remember off the top what this is for a regular FET.