Carbon nanotube transistors push up against quantum uncertainty limits

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Enlarge / A diagram of the transistors built in this paper, next to a false-colored image of the actual hardware. Atomically thin materials like graphene and carbon nanotubes have the potential to provide significant benefits compared to today’s electronics, like smaller features, lower operating voltages, and more efficient performance. So, even though we’re struggling to figure out how to use them in bulk manufactured electronics, lots of organizations are spending money, brains, and time to work that out. Note the phrasing above—potential. Since it’s been incredibly hard to make transistors based on these materials, we aren’t entirely sure how all of them will behave. A group of researchers from China’s Peking University decided it was time to cut down on some of the uncertainty. The answer they came up with? Transistors made with carbon nanotubes and graphene perform so well that they’re pushing up against the fundamental limits set by Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. That still doesn’t mean we can make a chip full of these things, but it does show it’s worth the continued effort to try to figure out how. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Carbon nanotube transistors push up against quantum uncertainty limits

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