Robots & Machines

IBM leverages carbon nanotubes to shrink transistors

Greg CandelarioOctober 2nd 2015
The Breakthrough

Researchers from IBM claim they have overcome one of their toughest obstacles in their aim to develop efficient carbon nanotube transistors,  the leading material that is expected to replace silicon inside semiconductor chips. The team had developed an approach that bonds the ends of carbon nanotubes with metal molybdenum at an atomic level without sacrificing performance. This new technique allows carbon nanotubes to be compressed to 9 nanometers, which is a major improvement over the 14 nanometer size of today’s top silicon technology.

The Implications

The carbon nanotubes that IBM is working on presents itself as a new type of semiconductor material that is composed of single atomic sheets of carbon that are rolled into a tube. These carbon nanotubes are the core of the transistor device that offers superior electrical properties than those based on silicon. This announcement is a key indicator of our post-silicon future, and this chip illustrates why IBM has invested $3 billion in research and development.

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