Sunday September 04, 2016

Carbon Nanotube Transistors Outperform Silicon For The First Time

This sounds like a substantial development for one of silicon’s potential replacements, but we have quite a way to go in terms of making that a reality. Aside from manufacturing challenges, there are concerns over carbon nanotubes’ toxicity.

Carbon nanotube transistors should be able to perform five times faster or use five times less energy than silicon transistors, according to extrapolations from single nanotube measurements. The nanotube’s ultra-small dimension makes it possible to rapidly change a current signal traveling across it, which could lead to substantial gains in the bandwidth of wireless communications devices. But researchers have struggled to isolate purely carbon nanotubes, which are crucial, because metallic nanotube impurities act like copper wires and disrupt their semiconducting properties آ— like a short in an electronic device.The UWآ–Madison team used polymers to selectively sort out the semiconducting nanotubes, achieving a solution of ultra-high-purity semiconducting carbon nanotubes.