Carbon Instead Of Copper

Aron Schatz
November 11, 2006

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I really find it interesting when you get down to the atomic level and the physics of the worl changes. Intel is planning on using carbon nanotubes instead of copper for new chips in the future. Some spooky things happen on the small scale.


Carbon nanotubes, the reigning celebrity of the nanotechnology world, conduct electricity far better than metals. In fact, nanotubes exhibit what's called ballistic conductivity, which means that electrons are not scattered or impeded by obstacles. Nanotubes, which measure only a few billionths of a meter thick, are also far thinner than metal interconnects can be made. Potentially, this eliminates the problem with shrinking interconnects. IBM and others have made transistors out of carbon nanotubes. In its experiment, Intel aligned bundles of nanotubes by means of an electric field and then measured their frequency with fairly standard equipment.


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