IBM has announced today that it’s been playing around with carbon nanotubes, and has come up with a way to measure the distribution of electrical charges in tubes smaller than 2 nm across. This is an incremental step along the path toward use of carbon nanotubes as semiconductors and wires on chips.
This novel technique, which relies on the interactions between electrons and phonons, provides a detailed understanding of the electrical behavior of carbon nanotubes, a material that shows promise as a building block for much smaller, faster and lower power computer chips compared to today’s conventional silicon transistors.
…”The success of nanoelectronics will largely depend on the ability to prepare well characterized and reproducible nano-structures, such as carbon nanotubes,” said Dr. Phaedon Avouris, IBM Fellow and lead researcher for IBM’s carbon nanotube efforts. “Using this technique, we are now able to see and understand the local electronic behavior of individual carbon nanotubes.”