John Markoff … Bits Blog: I.B.M. Reports Nanotube Chip Breakthrough:
I.B.M. scientists are reporting progress in a chip making technology that is likely to ensure the shrinking of the size of the basic digital switch at the heart of modern microchips for more than another decade.
The advance, first described in the journal Nature Nanotechnology on Sunday, is based on carbon nanotubes, exotic molecules that have long held out promise as an alternative material to silicon from which to create the tiny logic gates that are now used by the billions to create microprocessors and memory chips. The I.B.M. researchers at the T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., have been able to pattern an array of carbon nanotubes on the surface of a silicon wafer and use them to build chips that are hybrids of silicon and carbon nanotubes with more than 10,000 working transistors.