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Researchers Build Carbon Nanotube Transistors That Outperform Those Made with Silicon

Schematic diagram showing the structure of a carbon nanotube-based transistor.

A team of researchers at Peking University has built a carbon nanotube-based transistor and reported it outperforms larger transistors made with silicon.

Credit: Science magazine

Researchers at Peking University in China say they have built a carbon nanotube-based working transistor that outperforms larger transistors made with silicon.

Instead of growing carbon nanotubes that had certain desired properties, the researchers grew some and placed them randomly on a silicon surface. They then added electronics that would work with the properties they had, which allowed for the building of a carbon nanotube transistor that could be tested to see if it would verify theories about its performance.

The researchers also built a new kind of electrode by etching very tiny sheets of graphene, which resulted in a very tiny transistor capable of moving more current than a standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor transistor using only half of the normal voltage amount. In addition, the new transistor was faster due to a much shorter switch delay, thanks to a gate capacitance of only 70 femtoseconds.

The researchers say their work offers physical evidence that money being spent on research into carbon nanotubes as a viable replacement for silicon will pay off if a way to mass-produce them can be found.

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