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We’ve earlier reported about the progress with carbon nanotubes and their potential use as transistors.British scientists have now published an article (Geim A. K. Novoselov K. S. Nature Mater., 6 . 183 – 191 (2007)) about how a single layer of carbon atoms could work as a transistor. This would result in a transistor that is only 10nm wide. It works like so that a passage is capable of trapping an electron and then hinders other electrons from passing. Thus it would be possible to control the flow of electrons.

There have been similar transistors before but these have required extremely low temperatures, while this one is completely stable at room temperature. As usual, there are some problems that has to be solved and the perhaps biggest one is the manufacturing of single layers of carbon atoms which unfortunately leaves artifacts at the edges, this will in turn cause electrons to scatter and cause background noise. It’s also been quite hard to reproduce the experiment as there seems to be some factors that are not completely known, although not impossible.

This is not intended to replace the silicon of today, but more like offer a lead to what we can look forward to in 2020 when silicon has reached it limitations at approximately 20nm width.



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