What are metallic carbons

Microchips: carbon nanotubes better than conventional metals

"Our work shows that carbon nanotubes in their metallic form have different thermal and electrical properties than normal conductors," says Jean-Pierre Leburton, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Illinois. The temperature does not affect the power line, so the realization. This is particularly interesting for microchips, as undesirable effects could be reduced there.

The thermoelectric effect does not occur with metallic carbon nanotubes. "It is a fundamental property of conductors that a current flows due to a temperature difference between two contact points," explains Leburton. Due to temperature differences, current flows practically as it does when a voltage is applied. It is different with the nanotubes. "It's a metal that doesn't behave like a normal metal," says Leburton. This is because temperature differences do not lead to electricity flowing. According to the scientist, this is a fundamental property of the metallic carbon nanotubes, which is based on their special structure.

The researchers observed that in the metallic carbon nanotubes, unlike normal conductors, all electrons move at the same speed. In addition, the electron speed remains unaffected by heating. "This means that the metallic carbon nanotubes offer less resistance than other metallic conductors," emphasizes Leburton. This makes them particularly interesting for microchips. "In high-density circuits, connections made from metallic carbon nanotubes would reduce heat-related losses and require less cooling than copper nanowires," explains the scientist.

The work of the Illinois team builds on previous theoretical considerations by the researchers and matches theoretical predictions made at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute the previous year. A better understanding of the unusual conductive properties should help to make them really useful in practice.

Processors are made of silicon - for now. In the research laboratories, manufacturers are already working on CPUs with carbon tubes and transistors made of molecules. The first functioning models are already in place. The TecChannel article provides information about the new possibilities for processors through the use of carbon tubes and molecules: Cool nano CPUs with molecular transistors. (pte / hal)