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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Carbon Nanotubes that make the Ideal Diodes

Gone are the days of the p-n junction silicon and germaniun diodes, now its the Carbon Era.
So far believed to be impossible to generate a carbon nanotube diodes, is now at hands.

A physicist (Ji Ung Lee of GE Global Research in New York ) has made the best ever p-n junction diode from a carbon nanotube. The current-voltage characteristics of the device exhibit an "ideality factor" of one, which is the maximum possible value for any diode. The new diode could have applications in electronics, sensors and photovoltaics.

The feature sizes in conventional microelectronic circuits are getting smaller and smaller and look set to reach the limit imposed by the fundamental properties of silicon in a decade or so. The semiconducting properties of carbon nanotubes - rolled up sheets of graphite just nanometres in diameter - make them a promising alternative to silicon, and nanotubes have already been used to fabricate a variety of electronic components, including diodes and field-effect transistors.

More At : Physics Web


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