Carbon Nanotransistors


Siegmar Roth Max Planck Institut für Festkörperforschung

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A great deal of attention has been given to carbon nanotube (CNT)-based electronics. The unique electronic properties of CNTs pave the way to future applications in electronics, with a further reduction of weight, size, and power consumption, and a faster switching time. Carbon nanotubes present a paradigm for potential building blocks in nanoscale electronics. This is not only simply because of their small dimensions, but also because of their many superior electronic properties compared with silicon. For example, electrons propagating in a nanotube experience much less scattering; hence there is a reduction of power consumption and heat dissipation. An individual CNT can sustain a remarkably high current density of more than 109 A/cm2. The trans-conductance of a CNT field-effect transistor (CNTFET), which represents how fast the on/off states can be switched, is about one order of magnitude higher than that of a silicon metal-oxide semiconductor FET (MOSFET). These unique electrical properties of CNTs stem from the seamlessly curved conjugated structure and drive many researchers to quest for practical nanodevices. In the following sections, we review a broad range of studies on CNTs in transistor devices. The fundamental electronic structure of CNTs as well as different carbon nanotransistors will be discussed in detail.