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Semiconducting Carbon Nanotubes

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The engineering and Applied Science forum is now available as a place to discuss technology, engineering, and applied sciences. Here's a start that has me more curious than a cat...



Carbon Nanotube Transistors... drool.


Basically, nanotubes are ready made molecular wires. They can be formed into a conducting, semiconducting, or insulating state. This means they can be used for future computers. They are growing in popularity, and have a lot of potential.



Credit: Prof. Vincent H. Crespi, Department of Physics, Pennsylvania State University.




So, how do you see this being used?

Do you foresee pitfalls in this technology?

If we can grow a computer, does that make it biotechnology?



What do you think? :)

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I am curious about how we take something so small, and turn it into something usable. How are these integrated into a device given the difficulty of working with something that is sized at the atomic level?

Great question Bill, but we are already doing this at roughly 65nm scales and are approaching 45nm (some say 32nm) with silicone. The processes include chemical vapor deposition (CVD), etching, ionic implant... It's not too much of a stretch to see it happening with carbon.


What I've read indicates that you have a substrate like aluminum or nickel, sometimes even silicone, you treat it chemically, then from within these little "pores" a CVD process using hydrocarbon as the main catalyst begins the growth.


It's a bit like throwing a velcro-coated ball against a fuzzy screen, and continuing to do so until they build structure, but on a nanomolecular level. :)

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