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July 19th, 2007
Air Force Office of Scientific Research-funded analysis is creating transistors based on carbon nanotubes, ultrathin tubes of carbon a few atoms in width.
In discussing his research, Stanford University, Calif., team leader Dr. David Goldhaber-Gordon says that "Specifically, we are creating devices in which several ultra-fine metal wires are placed on top of a carbon nanotube to locally deplete electrons and create barriers for electron flow. Measuring electron flow across these barriers then reveals important information about the nature of electronic transport in one dimension.
"Such an understanding will be essential in reaching the ultimate limits of device miniaturization," said Mr. Goldhaber-Gordon, considered to be one of the United States' leading scientists in the field of condensed matter physics. "In addition to allowing manufacturers to pack more and more switches onto a single chip, device miniaturization helps reduce power consumption and heat dissipation per device -- critical issues for many Air Force platforms, from manned fighter planes to autonomous drones."
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