Over at MIT Technology Review, David Talbot writes that researchers at IBM have assembled 10,000 carbon nanotube transistors on a silicon chip, research that points toward a possible new way of continuing to produce smaller, faster, more efficient computers.
In the samples the researchers have created so far, the nanotube transistors are about 150 nanometers apart. They’ll have to get closer if the new technology is to beat today’s silicon transistors and keep ahead of improved generations over the next decade. “We need to lay down a single layer of carbon nanotubes spaced a few nanometers apart,” says Supratik Guha, director of physical sciences at the lab. His group must also work out how to add individual electrical contacts, envisioned as atomic-scale vertical posts, to each of billions of transistors; right now the wafer acts as the gate switching the nanotubes on and off.
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