With atomic precision, an Australian-led scientific team has created what is says is a perfect working transistor consisting of a single atom.
Using all their micro-engineering skills, the group the made the tiny electronic device using an individual phosphorus atom as its active component.
Group leader Professor Michelle Simmons from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) said until now single-cell transistors had been realised only by chance.
"But this device is perfect," she said in statement.
"This is the first time anyone has shown control of a single atom in a substrate with this level of precise accuracy."
The researchers were able to put microscopic markers onto the tiny transistor so they could connect metal contacts and apply a current.
"Our group has proved that it is really possible to position one phosphorus atom in a silicon environment, exactly as we need it, with near-atomic precision," lead author Dr Martin Fuechsle, also from UNSW, said.
The group hopes its work may help to create a quantum computer with computational efficiency not seen before.
The creation also involved scientists from the University of Melbourne and Purdue University in the United States.
Details of the device have been published in the scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology.