With silicon-based chips facing performance limits, Chinese researchers are making progress using semiconducting carbon nanotube arrays as alternative materials for large-scale integrated circuits.
The researcher describe their work in "Aligned, High-Density Semiconducting Carbon Nanotube Arrays for High-Performance Electronics," published in the journal Science.
The carbon nanotube arrays could be used to fabricate circuits with performance exceeding those made using conventional silicon transistors with similar dimensions.
Zhang Zhiyong, one of the researchers, said carbon nanotubes have been considered as promising replacement for silicon transistors but have been troubled by fabrication and purity problems, adding that the carbon nanotubes have to be packed densely enough to make good transistors.
"We have developed a method using high-purity carbon nanotubes and lining them up in high density, which helps push carbon-based semiconductor technology from laboratory research to industrial application," Zhang says.
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