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Home > Press > New material for nanoscale-computer chips

Researchers cross organic and non-organic nano wires like Mikado sticks and thereby make nanoscale prototype computer electronics. Image by Asmus Dohn.
Researchers cross organic and non-organic nano wires like Mikado sticks and thereby make nanoscale prototype computer electronics. Image by Asmus Dohn.

Abstract:
New data from Chinese-Danish collaboration shows that organic nanoscale wires could be an alternative to silicon in computer chips. The discovery has just been published in the respected scientific journal, Advanced Materials.

New material for nanoscale-computer chips

Copenhagen | Posted on August 18th, 2009

Nanochemists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Nano-Science Center, Department of Chemistry have developed nanoscale electric contacts out of organic and inorganic nanowires. In the contact they have crossed the wires like Mikado sticks and coupled several contacts together in an electric circuit. In this way they have produced prototype computer electronics on the nanoscale.

Alternative to silicon computers

Today the foundation of our computers, mobile phones and other electronic apparatus is silicon transistors. A transistor is in principal an on- and off- contact and there are millions of tiny transistors on every computer chip. However, we are reaching the limit for how small we can make transistors out of silicon.

We already use various organic materials in, for example, flat screens, such as OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode). The new results show how small and advanced devices made of organic materials can become. Thomas Bjørnholm, Director of the Nano-Science Center, Department of Chemistry at University of Copenhagen explains:

"We have succeeded in placing several transistors consisting of nanowires together on a nano device. It is a first step towards realisation of future electronic circuitry based on organic materials - a possible substitute for today's silicon-based technologies. This offers the possibility of making computers in different ways in the future."

Danish-Chinese nanoelectronics

The researchers have used organic nanowires combined with the tin oxide nanowires in a so-called hybrid circuit. As in a Mikado game, the nanowires cross in a device consisting of 4-6 active transistor moieties. The devices have a low operational current, high mobility and good stability and that is essential in order for the material to be able to compete with silicon.

Professor Wenping Hu, Chinese Academy of Sciences is excited over the results:

"This work is the first significant result of our collaboration with the researchers from the Nano-Science Center. It is a good starting point for our new Danish-Chinese research centre for molecular nano-electronics and it underlines the fact that we can complement each other and that together we can achieve exciting and important results."

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About University of Copenhagen
With over 37,000 students and more than 7,000 employees, the University of Copenhagen is the largest institution of research and education in Denmark. The purpose of the University – to quote the University Statute – is to ’conduct research and provide further education to the highest academic level’.

Approximately one hundred different institutes, departments, laboratories, centres, museums, etc., form the nucleus of the University, where professors, lecturers and other academic staff, as well as most of the technical and administrative personnel, carry out their daily work, and where teaching takes place.

These activities take place in various environments ranging from the plant world of the Botanical Gardens, through high-technology laboratories and auditoriums, to the historic buildings and lecture rooms of Frue Plads and other locations.

On 1 January 2007, the University merged with The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University and The Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The two universities are now faculties at the University of Copenhagen.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
University of Copenhagen Contact:
Communications Division
DK-1017 Copenhagen K
Nørregade 10, P.O. Box 2177
+45 35 32 42 61

Professor Thomas Bjørnholm

+45 35 32 18 35

Communication Officer
Gitte Frandsen

+45 28 75 04 58

Copyright © University of Copenhagen

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