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October 30, 2012

IBM’s new carbon nanotechnology to replace silicon in computer chips

Carbon nanotubes will allow creation of nanoscale transistor devices

By CBR Staff Writer

IBM researchers have demostrated a new way of carbon nanotechnology which will help in commercial fabrication of smaller, faster and more powerful computer chips with transistors made of carbon nanotubes which will replace silicon chips in computers.

With electrical properties that are more attractive than silicon, Carbon nanotubes will allow creation of nanoscale transistor devices, according to researchers.

IBM revealed that its researchers have positioned an array of 10,000 working carbon nanotube transistors on the surface of a silicon wafer through standard semiconductor processes.

IBM Research Physical Sciences director Supratik Guha said carbon nanotubes, borne out of chemistry, have largely been laboratory curiosities as far as microelectronic applications are concerned.

"We are attempting the first steps towards a technology by fabricating carbon nanotube transistors within a conventional wafer fabrication infrastructure," Guha said.

"The motivation to work on carbon nanotube transistors is that at extremely small nanoscale dimensions, they outperform transistors made from any other material.

"However, there are challenges to address such as ultra high purity of the carbon nanotubes and deliberate placement at the nanoscale. We have been making significant strides in both."

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Researchers considered that once they have perfectly attempted the deployment of carbon nanotubes, which is expected sometime after the end of 2020, it will be probable to increase the speed of future chips as well as raise the number of transistors deployed.

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