March 20, 2002
Carbon Microtubules for everyone (This round's on me!)

Molecular-transistors are here. (Hee-haw!)

Now just what the heck does that mean? :-)

Well, it's kind of a long story, but the synopsis below does a pretty good job of summing it up.

Here's this nice explanation (thanks ACM News service) along with a link to its longer version:
The Nanotube Computer,
by David Rotman at the MIT Enterprise Technology Review
(Technology Review (03/02) Vol. 105, No. 2, P. 36; Rotman, David)

Carbon nanotubes have the potential to significantly change the world of electronics over the next decade. Phaedon Avouris of IBM Research says that nanotubes can be fashioned into transistors that are superior in performance to silicon-based transistors. Molecular transistors based on nanotubes or nanowires could increase the number of devices that can be installed on a chip, boosting computer memory and logic circuits. Nanotubes are very compatible with existing semiconducting materials, and the possibility exists that they can be combined with silicon technology, although the dual metallic/semiconducting nature of nanotubes can complicate the fabrication of logic devices. They are also seen as an eventual replacement for silicon once it reaches the threshold of Moore's Law. Meanwhile, companies such as Nantero are pursuing nanotube-based nonvolatile memory, which could eliminate the need for people to repeatedly boot up their computers and supplant dynamic random-access memory (DRAM). Nanotubes can also emit electrons at low voltages, and this property forms the basis of thin but cheap flat-panel displays that project a high-quality image; Motorola and other electronics firms are competing to build a working nanotube display. Nanotube research has helped raise the profile of nanoscale materials and their commercial applications, which could include minuscule biological sensors and light-emitting diodes, fuel cell electrodes, and many others.

Posted by Lisa at March 20, 2002 10:29 AM | TrackBack
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