Nanotubes on the Straight and Narrow
April 24, 2008 3:12 PM
comment(s) - last by
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.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: DT renamed Daily Nanotube News?
4/25/2008 12:37:24 PM
He meant wake up 30 mins earlier to read even more about nanotubes ;-)
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft's Surface 2 Tablet Family Gets a $100 Price Cut
August 25, 2014, 1:16 AM
Owner of "Decepticon" Maserati Ordered to Appear in Court This Thursday
August 25, 2014, 7:55 AM
Windows 9: "Upgrade Now" Button Coming for Enterprise Updates, ARM Preview in H1 2015
August 26, 2014, 8:00 PM
Second ZMapp-Treated Patient Dies of Ebola, Supplies Run Out
August 25, 2014, 7:03 PM
L.A. Unified School District’s Apple iPad Contract Canceled Following Heavy Criticism
August 26, 2014, 12:37 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information