October 29, 2012

Made in IBM Labs: Researchers Demonstrate Initial Steps toward Commercial Fabrication of Carbon Nanotubes as a Successor to Silicon

For the first time, scientists precisely place and test more than ten thousand carbon nanotube devices in a single chip using mainstream manufacturing processes

Novel processing method helps pave the way for carbon technology as a viable alternative to silicon in future computing

IBM  scientists have demonstrated a new approach to carbon nanotechnology that opens up the path for commercial fabrication of dramatically smaller, faster and more powerful computer chips. For the first time, more than ten thousand working transistors made of nano-sized tubes of carbon have been precisely placed and tested in a single chip using standard semiconductor processes. These carbon devices are poised to replace and outperform silicon technology allowing further miniaturization of computing components and leading the way for future microelectronics.

Aided by rapid innovation over four decades, silicon microprocessor technology has continually shrunk in size and improved in performance, thereby driving the information technology revolution. Silicon transistors, tiny switches that carry information on a chip, have been made smaller year after year, but they are approaching a point of physical limitation.

journal reference (abstract free): nature nanotechnology >>