Chip industry hit a new milestone: The first successful production of carbon nanoparticles

The name Silicon Valley highlights the importance of silicon in the digital age: all electronics have silicon traces. Without silicon we wo...


The name Silicon Valley highlights the importance of silicon in the digital age: all electronics have silicon traces. Without silicon we wouldn't be able to get electronics. With the new success of chip research and manufacturing, it's not clear when the Carbon Nanotube Valley will emerge.

Inside the microprocessor are transistors - transistors, tiny "electrical switches" that keep opening and closing the flow of data. Composed of complex calculations will be displayed on the screen. In the new study, the scientists used transistors as carbon nanotubes instead of traditional silicon materials.

We have the first computer chip to use carbon nanotubes daily to run computer programs.



Scientists use transistors that are carbon nanotubes instead of traditional silicon materials.

As described in the August 29 issue of the journal Nature, the sample device has yet to reach the processing speed of silicon chips on the market. But in the future, carbon nanotubes will pave the way for a new trend, a faster generation of chips, more energy efficient, no need for pure silicon to make electronics anymore.

This is "a very important milestone in this technology development roadmap," said material scientist Qing Cao, who works at the University of Illinois and is not involved in the research.

What makes transistors are semiconductors, which are made from extremely pure silicon with both electrical and electrical conductivity. The on and off status of the transistor is used to indicate whether the current is flowing or not. It is also the letters 0 and 1 - the DNA of a computer.

By reducing the size of the transistor, the computational power will be higher. But Moore's law does not allow us to do this: the transistor has its lower limit, there will come a time when we cannot make it any smaller.

Carbon nanotubes have the potential to solve this size problem, as the tube's dynamic width is in atomic units. Moreover, they round out the position of the semiconductor even more than silicon. In theory, nano-carbon processors run up to 3 times faster, using only about a quarter of the power of a typical silicon chip. However, the current technology does not allow us to successfully build a complex carbon nano chip.


Carbon nano transistors have a width nearly a micrometer.

When a network of carbon nanotubes is placed on a chip substrate, the tubes often tangle into clusters. The researchers compared the production of carbon nanoparticles such as "trying to tile but there is a rock lying in the middle of the yard". The team tried spreading carbon nanotubes on the chips and then proceeded to vibrate the entire system to remove unwanted nanotubes from the chip surface.

They were successful initially.

Another obstacle is that for every batch of carbon nanotubes, there will be about 0.01% of metal nanotubes. Because metal nanotubes cannot become semiconductors (because they cannot efficiently conduct electricity and insulate both), they will reduce chip performance.

They discovered that faulty nanotubes specifically affect certain transistors, like the fact that some words are misspelled to the point that we can't figure out the meaning. But we still understand some of the other misspelled words. So the team focused on chips that are less affected by metal nanotubes.

Carbon nano transistors are nearly a micrometre wide, silicon transistors are only 10 nanometers. Moreover, carbon nanotubes can only be turned on and off about 1 million times per second, while silicon balls can turn on and off billions of times per second. It is clear that carbon nanoparticles cannot beat silicon chip position. But success does not have the first step? The current technology of nano carbon transistors is on par with the chip manufacturing technology of the 80s. But look at how far chip technology has come.

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High Tech Brain: Chip industry hit a new milestone: The first successful production of carbon nanoparticles
Chip industry hit a new milestone: The first successful production of carbon nanoparticles
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