Electronics Gets Y's: Nanotubes branch out as novel transistors

10:38am, September 7, 2005

Y-shaped nanotubes might become a common component in ultrasmall electronic circuitry, according to scientists who have just shown that the microscopic, branched structures can function as transistors.

The microelectronics industry has been on the lookout for a radically new type of transistor because manufacturers are approaching physical limits on the number of transistors that they can pack into a chip. In a typical transistor, an electrical signal applied to one part of the component determines the flow of electricity through the rest. As the amount of chip space per transistor dwindles, engineers are finding it difficult to create small-enough conventional silicon transistors that are effective.

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