Nanotubes on the Straight and Narrow
April 24, 2008 3:12 PM
Duke scientists grow the longest, straightest carbon nanotube carpet yet.
One can barely hit a science or tech oriented website without seeing the words “carbon nanotube” somewhere on the first page. Indeed, with the ever-increasing promise of incredible technology being spawned from the simple carbon molecules, the praise they receive is well-deserved. However, where it concerns electronics, especially in the form of integrated circuits, CNTs are still mostly just a theory. While they have been shown to have superior
electrical properties to copper and silicon
, growing them in a manner useful to the microelectronics industry has proved difficult.
As far back as 2000, scientists have been growing the curious CNT using a variety of methods. Earlier this year,
reported on a new method
for growing fields of CNTs which held promise. Now, a team at Duke University under the guidance of professor Jie Liu, has improved upon other past methods, utilizing quartz crystal to grow the longest and straightest CNT forest to date.
To be useful as electron carriers for microchips and other micro-electronic devices, CNTs would have to be both long enough to carry the signal, and straight enough to move it to where it wants to go. Previous methods for growing CNT bundles have been less than desirable because the tubes themselves tend to overlap and criss-cross as their length grows. Keeping them uniform is the key to success.
The Duke process uses stable temperature cut quartz crystal wafers, which are used in several mundane electronics applications. Using gasified alcohol to supply the carbon atoms and a lithography process that makes tracks of copper, which is used as the growth catalyst, the CNTs follow the crystalline orientation of the wafer, growing perfectly straight tubes along the crystal.
Though other groups have been able to create groups of tubes much more dense using similar processes with quartz and sapphire, even as dense as 50 tubes per micron (one millionth of a meter), such high density bundles are less than ideal for electronics as they are not able to maintain a uniform growth pattern. The Duke process is thought to produce the highest density of aligned single-wall nanotubes to date.
Though it may be a slow one, the move from silicon-based to carbon-based electronics almost seems inevitable as more and more research goes into and discoveries come out of carbon and its many available pure and designer forms and compounds. While silicon probably won't vanish any time soon and still holds potential as miniaturization processes continue to be refined, there is evidence that its near five decade reign over the electronics industry may be coming to an end.
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
Interconnects of the Future: Copper vs. Carbon
March 17, 2008, 12:06 AM
Scientists Develop Ingenious Method for Nanotube Alignment
January 25, 2008, 10:46 AM
Latest By Levi Beckerson
Of Turbines Large And Small
May 24, 2011, 9:07 AM
Various Alcohols Shown To Make Various Improvements on Specific Superconductor
January 11, 2011, 8:32 AM
Genetics and Taste Buds; Can Science Build Better Chocolate?
December 27, 2010, 9:01 AM
New UMass Technique Seeks to Replace Petroleum for Industrial Chemicals
November 26, 2010, 7:26 AM
New MIT Nanotech Fights Cancer Naturally
September 20, 2010, 8:30 AM
Genetic Modification Turns Killers Into Saviors
September 16, 2010, 1:13 PM
New Rensselaer Nanocomposite Kills Staph
August 17, 2010, 8:10 AM
Researchers Create Nanoscale Particles For Ultrasound Applications
August 16, 2010, 3:44 PM
NCSU Study To Help Understand Nanoparticles Inside the Body
August 16, 2010, 8:38 AM
New Lithium Metal Phosphate Batteries Made With Wax and Soap
August 13, 2010, 1:10 PM
PIQ ROBOTTM reveals its new artificial intelligence software
November 29, 2016, 12:59 AM
One more time - Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone Around the World
November 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Google’s Smart Contact Lens Project gets halted for 2016
November 20, 2016, 7:00 AM
Cell Research Study shows African Americans have greater immune response to infection
November 10, 2016, 1:00 AM
UTHealth Clinical Trial Shows Progress Using Stem Cells to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury
November 8, 2016, 1:00 AM
Uber Partners with Circulation to Pilot Program Connecting Transportation and Digital Health Care
November 6, 2016, 5:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Surface Pro 5 Rumors - New Release Date and Price
April 22, 2017, 6:45 AM
Apple Watch NikeLab Limited Edition unveiled.
April 22, 2017, 6:20 AM
SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 580 8GD5 – Great Value for the Money
April 20, 2017, 7:47 AM
Meet the Smartphone with four cameras - Alcatel Flashphone
April 5, 2017, 11:20 AM
Dell Inspiron 17 7000 – A Premium Laptop featuring 7th Gen Intel Core i7 in a 2-in-1 Frame.
April 19, 2017, 7:45 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Galaxy Note 8 – Available Second Half 2017
Apr 28, 2017, 7:30 AM
Google Android App – Huge improvement on Nighttime Photography
Apr 27, 2017, 7:40 AM
Google Co-Founder, Sergey Brin has an Airship
Apr 26, 2017, 6:43 AM
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus – Lots of Glass that Breaks Easily
Apr 25, 2017, 7:20 AM
Samsung Galaxy S8 – Warning for Pet Owners
Apr 24, 2017, 5:59 AM
Sound Bars and the Costs?
Apr 23, 2017, 6:30 AM
Link your Brain to Your Computer – In Four Years…Maybe
Apr 22, 2017, 7:03 AM
Google Home can now identify users by their voice.
Apr 21, 2017, 7:15 AM
Amazon Lex – Now Available for Developers.
Apr 20, 2017, 6:58 AM
You can now use Instagram offline on your Android Smartphone
Apr 19, 2017, 8:00 AM
Now you can livestream to YouTube from your mobile device.
Apr 18, 2017, 8:05 AM
Google Home – Is It a Spy Device?
Apr 17, 2017, 7:30 AM
Apple added to self –driving test permit list
Apr 15, 2017, 6:21 AM
Project Scorpio – Coming on June 11
Apr 14, 2017, 6:20 AM
Looks Like Samsung Has Been Forgiven.
Apr 13, 2017, 6:50 AM
United Airlines - Blasted on China’s Social Network and the Stock Market
Apr 12, 2017, 6:50 AM
Amazon's Third-Party Sellers Hacked
Apr 11, 2017, 6:25 AM
Microsoft Surface Pro5 Details Revealed
Apr 9, 2017, 6:41 AM
Own An Android Phone? Then you could be hacked over Wi-FI
Apr 7, 2017, 6:47 AM
Apple confirms iOS 10.3 bug and its effect on iCloud Services
Apr 6, 2017, 6:30 AM
Apple Rolls Out New Version of Apple Music
Apr 5, 2017, 10:35 AM
Apple in the News
Apr 4, 2017, 9:03 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information