Outperforming the classical materials

Nanocarbon transistor on top

Development of electronics

In the modern world, we are surrounded with cellphones, tablets, laptops, LCD displays and many more appliances, all of which have something very important in common. Their machinery is made out of resistors, transistors and other important pieces of electronics without which they would never be able to offer the functionalities they have. There is an incessant driving force to make such things faster and smaller, but there are boundaries, which can limit the progress. The currently used material for many of these key parts, silicon, will soon stop being able to perform at the desired level. We need a successor.

How about nanocarbon?

For many years scientists were aware that individual graphene flakes or carbon nanotubes can outperform silicon, but the problem was in making such macroscopic assemblies out of them, which would preserve these excellent properties. It has taken significant amount of time and effort, but it has finally been accomplished. A team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison led by Michael Arnold designed a process of making aligned arrays of carbon nanotubes. As testing has shown, such arrays were capable of outperforming silicon transistors by as much as almost 100% in terms of the amount of current they can conduct. If the progress in the field of electronics continues at the same fast pace, apparently silicon may start thinking about retirement.

Read more: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1601240