Breakthrough: carbon nanotube transistors surpass silicon counterparts for the first time

These are not the first transistors created from carbon nanotubes, but researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison claim that for the first time their products surpassed their current silicon counterparts. The new transistors are characterized by high density and switching speed (5 times higher) with low power consumption, which could initiate a new generation of electronics.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) created from monoatomic layers of graphene rolled into "rolls" make it possible to create three-dimensional structures with a one-dimensional carbon sheet. The result is microscopic field-effect transistors that allow high-speed switching of the current moving through them.

In their research, the scientists used a technique known as floating evaporative self-assembly, in which the polymers used to encapsulate and isolate CNTs are aligned and spaced equidistantly on a substrate.

After alignment and deposition of CNTs, the researchers proceed to bake the nanotubes in a vacuum drying oven, where the remains of the insulating polymer are removed. Anything left is washed off with a solvent.

The research results will form the basis for the creation of high-performance RF amplifiers that can be used, for example, to amplify a cellular signal.