02 March 2007

Atom-thick carbon transistor could succeed silicon

"Transistors more than four times smaller than the tiniest silicon ones – and potentially more efficient – can be made using sheets of carbon just one-tenth of a nanometre thick, research shows. Unlike other experimental nanoscopic transistors, the new components require neither complex manufacturing nor cryogenic cooling.

The transistors are made of graphene, a sheet of carbon atoms in a flat honeycomb arrangement. Graphene makes graphite when stacked in layers, and carbon nanotubes when rolled into a tube.

Graphene also conducts electricity faster than most materials since electrons can travel through in straight lines between atoms without being scattered. This could ultimately mean faster, more efficient electronic components that also require less power."

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