IBM announces array of nanotube transistors

from the molectronics dept.
According to an IBM press release, Philip G. Collins, Michael S. Arnold and Phaedon Avouris at the I.B.M. laboratory in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. have built the world's first array of transistors out of carbon nanotubes. The work is reported in the 27 April 2001 issue of Science. The breakthrough is a new batch process for forming large numbers of nanotube transistors. Until now, nanotubes had to be positioned one at a time or by random chance — which while fine for scientific experiments is impossibly slow and tedious for mass production. The IBM press site contains links to graphics that show how the process works.

In the same report, the IBM scientists show how electrical breakdown can be used to remove individual carbon shells of a multi-walled nanotube one-by-one, allowing the scientists to fabricate carbon nanotubes with the precise electrical properties desired. The report also shows how the scientists fabricate field-effect transistors from carbon nanotubes with any variable band-gap desired.

Read more for links to the Science article and press coverage. The IBM teamís work is reported in the paper:
"Engineering Carbon Nanotubes and Nanotube Circuits Using Electrical Breakdown", by Philip G. Collins, Michael S. Arnold, Phaedon Avouris, in Science, 27 April 2001: 706-709

An extensive article on the IBM research appeared in the New York Times ("Scientists, Using New Material, Push Toward Tinier Computers", by J. Markoff, 27 April 2001). The article quotes Richard Smalley of Rice University: "All of the brains are lined up thinking about a new kind of electronics based on nanotechnology."
The NY Times ran a general science article on nanotubes ("Of Nanotubes and Buckyballs: Atomic-Scale Building Blocks", by K. Chang, 27 March 2001) that focuses on their potential application in nanoelectronics.
Note: Access to the NYT site is free, but requires registration.

And Brian Wang spotted an item that appeared in EE Times ("IBM nanotubes may enable molecular-scale chips", by R. Colin Johnson, 26 April 2001) that provides additional coverage of the IBM work.

Finally, a short news piece that provides some context on nanotube electronics research appeared in the Chemical and Engineering News website ("Nanotube Conduction: Understanding, control of electrical properties bring uses closer to reality", by M. Jacoby, 27 April 2001)

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