Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »


It’s important to explore approaches such as these, says Naresh Shanbhag, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “Nanotubes are considered to be a promising post-silicon device,” he says. “Nanotube circuits need such techniques … so that a circuit exhibiting reliable behavior can be designed.”

The Stanford algorithm does not solve all the problems with carbon-nanotube transistors, however. In a typical batch of nanotubes, as much as 30 percent of them act as a metal, constantly conducting electricity (unlike a semiconductor), making them useless as transistors. Another issue, says Mitra, is that it’s difficult to control the density of carbon nanotubes from one batch to the next. And if there isn’t a sufficient density, then there simply aren’t enough nanotubes to make logic gates for circuits.

Progress is being made on all these fronts, says Tom Theis, director of physical sciences at IBM’s TJ Watson Research Center, in Yorktown Heights, NY. Researchers at IBM, for example, are developing ways to selectively remove unwanted nanotubes–metal nanotubes where semiconductor nanotubes are wanted, for example–to help pave the way for reliable devices. While the Stanford work doesn’t resolve all the challenges facing nanotube electronics, Theis says that it’s “an interesting piece of the puzzle.”

2 comments. Share your thoughts »

Credit: Subhasish Mitra

Tagged: Computing, software, nanotechnology, transistors, nanotubes

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me
×

A Place of Inspiration

Understand the technologies that are changing business and driving the new global economy.

September 23-25, 2014
Register »