NRIs make tiniest transistor with carbon nanotubes

PTI | ByPress Trust of India, San Francisco
Sep 06, 2005 11:00 AM IST

Nanotubes are sheets of carbon atoms and are more than a thousand times thinner than human hair.

Two non-resident Indian scientists have created history by making the world's tiniest transistor entirely from carbon nanotubes.

HT Image
HT Image

Nanotubes are rolled up sheets of carbon atoms and are more than a thousand times thinner than human hair.

The discovery heralds a new era of ultra miniature electronics where standard silicon transistors are replaced with much smaller versions fashioned from carbon nanotubes.

The new transistor is a Y-shaped nanotube with two branches that meet a central stem at a junction.

Current flowing from one branch to another can be switched on and off by applying a voltage to the third. Such binary logic called "gating" is the basis of nearly all transistors.

"The small size and dramatic switching behaviour of these Y-shaped nanotubes makes them candidates for a new class of all-carbon transistor," says Prabhakar Bandaru, a materials scientist at the University of California, San Diego who led the team that included his colleagues Sungho Jin, graduate student Chiara Daraio and physicist Apparao M Rao at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Their work published in the September issue of Nature Materials has won instant acclaim from international science community.

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