For first time, carbon nanotube transistors outperform silicon

Adam Malecek in

ScreenHunter_2188 Sep. 03 20.53For decades, scientists have tried to harness the unique properties of carbon nanotubes to create high-performance electronics that are faster or consume less power—resulting in longer battery life, faster wireless communication and faster processing speeds for devices like smartphones and laptops.

But a number of challenges have impeded the development of high-performance transistors made of carbon nanotubes, tiny cylinders made of carbon just one atom thick. Consequently, their performance has lagged far behind semiconductors such as silicon and gallium arsenide used in computer chips and personal electronics.

Now, for the first time, University of Wisconsin-Madison materials engineers have created carbon nanotube transistors that outperform state-of-the-art .

Led by Michael Arnold and Padma Gopalan, UW-Madison professors of materials science and engineering, the team's carbon nanotube transistors achieved current that's 1.9 times higher than silicon transistors. The researchers reported their advance in a paper published Friday (Sept. 2) in the journal Science Advances.

“This achievement has been a dream of nanotechnology for the last 20 years,” says Arnold. “Making carbon nanotube transistors that are better than silicon transistors is a big milestone. This breakthrough in performance is a critical advance toward exploiting carbon nanotubes in logic, high-speed communications, and other semiconductor electronics technologies.”

More here. [Thanks to Farrukh Azfar.]