Stanford builds first complex computer chip out of carbon nanotubes

By Sebastian Anthony on February 27, 2013 at 6:40 am

Researchers at Stanford University have become the first group to publicly demonstrate a computer chip fashioned entirely out of carbon nanotube transistors.

When silicon finally reaches the end of the road — when transistor features become so small that there aren’t enough silicon atoms to actually act like silicon — carbon nanotubes, along with silicon-germanium (SiGe) and gallium arsenide (GaAs), are the most likely candidates to take over. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are fantastically conductive, very small (just a few nanometers across), and are capable of switching at very high speeds. Unlike graphene, which also has very desirable electrical properties, it is much easier to create CNTs that are semiconducting. It is for this reason that CNTs, rather than graphene, are generally considered a more appropriate material for replacing silicon — at least in the short term. (See: IBM creates 9nm carbon nanotube transistor that outperforms silicon.)

Read more: Stanford builds first complex computer chip out of carbon nanotubes | ExtremeTech.

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