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澳门金沙互联网娱乐平台网站:Buckled nanotubes make tiny transistors

作者:闾挤    发布时间:2019-03-06 10:13:01    

By Will Knight Molecular transistors that run on single electrons now work at room temperature. Dutch scientists achieved the feat by buckling carbon nanotubes with an atomic force microscope. “We’ve added another important piece to the toolbox for molecular electronics” said lead researcher Cees Dekker of Delft University. “It’s only four years ago since we measured for the first time any electronic transport through a nanotube. Now, we are exploring what can be done in terms of single-molecule devices. “The next step will be to think about how to combine these elements into complex circuits,” he says. Molecular computers would be high speed and low power. Other experts say the method is too fiddly to lend itself to the mass-production of nanoscopic transistors immediately, but they believe it demonstrates new possibilities. “It’s a different way to get this sort of transistor,” says James Tour of Rice University’s Centre for Nanoscale Science and Technology in Houston, Texas. “It shows that you can bring this up to room temperature” The transistors inside normal computers control the flow of thousands of electrons at a time. Transistors capable of manipulating individual electrons could potentially do the same work faster and more efficiently. However, functioning at this tiny scale can be difficult as heat can cause electrons to leak in and out of the molecular components. To avoid this, previous molecular transistors were cooled to near absolute zero. The Delft researchers wanted to create a device that worked at more practical temperatures. By buckling a metallic carbon nanotube, they formed a small area from which a single electron cannot escape at room temperature unless a current is applied via an electrode. Although the process in ingenious, Tour believes there are still a number obstacles between producing single electron circuits. These include finding a way to reproduce the effect for thousands of transistors at a time and the fact that molecular computer components cannot be manufactured using current lithographic techniques. Another problem involves scaling down other parts of the new transistor’s architecture. “It’s a beautiful lab experiment,” says Tour. “But on the flip side,

 

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