A family of novel three-terminal devices which relies on the transfer of a quasi-monoenergetic hot electron beam through a thin base is described. The devices are similar in principle to the proposed tunneling amplifier by Mead in the early sixties ("Cold Cathode" or "Metal Base" amplifiers). Results are reviewed and the probable reasons for the poor performances are pointed out. It is predicted that, with a proper choice of parameters, metal-base amplifiers can operate as switches, negative resistance devices and continuous amplifiers in the subpicosecond range. Two subclasses are described: The tunneling emitter (THETA), in the major part of the work, and the nontunneling emitter (BHETA) amplifiers. In the THETA family the metal-oxide-metal-oxide-metal (MOMOM), the MOM-semiconductor (MOMS), and the heterojunctions devices are described. Members of the BHETA family generate quasi-monoenergetic electron beams by injecting electrons by an n+n- or a metal-n- junctions, and include a variety of metals and semiconductor combinations. Very thin films are required in these devices (oxides ∼15 Å, metals ∼100 Å, semiconductors ∼100 Å). The molecular beam epitaxy technique and lattice matching considerations are required for pinhole free semiconductors and metal films with minimum interface states. Sputter-oxidation methods are needed for thin oxide growth. Systems which combine these features with availability of microfabrication make these devices feasible today. © 1981.