UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering
University of California San Diego
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Y-shaped Nanotubes Can Act as Transistors

The movement of electrons through the arms of the carbon nanotubes Y-junction can be finely controlled, or gated, by applying a voltage to the stem. The system is similar to the source, gate, and drain of a conventional transistor.

A team of Jacobs School materials scientists reported in the September 2005 issue of Nature Materials that specially synthesized Y-shaped nanotubes exhibit electronic properties that are improved over those of conventional MOS (metal oxide semiconductor) transistors.

"This is the first time that a transistor-like structure has been fabricated using a branched carbon nanotube," says MAE professor Prabhakar Bandaru, who collaborated on the project with professor Sungho Jin, graduate student Chiara Daraio and Clemson physicist Apparao M. Rao."This discovery represents a new way of thinking about nano-electronic devices."

The nanotubes described by Bandaru's team are only a few tens of nanometers thick. "The small size and dramatic switching behavior of these nanotubes makes them candidates for a new class of transistor," adds Bandaru.

Related Links
News Release: Customized Y-Shaped Carbon Nanotubes Can Compute
News Release: UCSD Nanotech Advance Makes Carbon Nanotubes More Useful
Video: Y-Shaped Nanotubes Video [Realplayer required] Length: 3:40
Journal: Prabhakar R. Bandaru, Chiara Daraio, Sungho Jin, and Apparao M. Rao, "Novel electrical switching behaviour and logic in carbon nanotube Y-junctions" ( 2005). Nature Materials. 4 (9), pp 663-666.
Website: Materials Science Graduate Program
 
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