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June 22nd, 2007
Expert opinion favors carbon nanotubes eventually replacing silicon in microelectronics because of their potential for superior speed and reduced power consumption. And over the past several years, researchers have made transistors out of carbon nanotubes. However, it's still difficult to make reliable circuits out of them.
Concerned that current methods for making computer chips might become stymied as components keep shrinking, many engineers are looking for circuit building blocks with improved electrical properties. Among the most promising are stringy carbon nanotubes that capably form transistors to switch current on and off. But the nanotubes tend to grow with unpredictable kinks and bends that could cause bad wiring connections.
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