Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCI scientists use nanotechnology to create world’s fastest method for transmitting information in cell phones and computers

13.06.2005


Demonstrating breakneck signal speed of 10 gigahertz, method uses nanotubes instead of conventional copper wires



UC Irvine scientists in The Henry Samueli School of Engineering have demonstrated for the first time that carbon nanotubes can route electrical signals on a chip faster than traditional copper or aluminum wires, at speeds of up to 10 GHz. The breakthrough could lead to faster and more efficient computers, and improved wireless network and cellular phone systems, adding to the growing enthusiasm about nanotechnology’s revolutionary potential.

“Our prior research showed that nanotube transistors can operate at extremely high frequencies, but the connections between the transistors were made out of somewhat slower copper, thus forming a bottleneck for the electrical signals,” said Peter Burke, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and one of the researchers who developed the technology. “In this technology we show that nanotubes can also quickly route electronic signals from one transistor to another, thus removing the bottleneck.”


Electrical signals are routed at high speed through virtually all modern electronic systems and also through the airwaves in all modern wireless systems. “From now on, any time a nanotube device is used anywhere in the world in a high-speed electronic device, computer, wireless network or telephone system, people will benefit from this technology,” Burke added.

A nanotube is commonly made from carbon and consists of a graphite sheet seamlessly wrapped into a cylinder only a few nanometers wide. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter, about the size of 10 atoms strung together.

Most of the layers of a modern semiconductor chip are dedicated to interconnect wiring, making the material used, and its speed, extremely important. The semiconductor industry recently shifted from using aluminum to copper as interconnects because copper carries electrical signals faster than aluminum. Based on Burke’s work, it is now clear that changing the industry from copper to nanotubes would provide an even larger performance advantage in terms of speed. Before such a shift could occur, however, nanotube technology would need to be economical to manufacture and require precise assembly, a project Burke is currently working on.

Previous work by the Burke team demonstrated that nanotubes can carry electrical signals up to several millimeters across a chip better than copper, but did not measure how fast the signals propagate. This work is the first interconnect-technology demonstration for ultra-high-speed applications. Now that Burke’s team has developed both high-speed nanotube-interconnect technology and high-speed nanotube-transistor technology, they hope to integrate the two into an ultra-high-speed all-nanotube electronic circuit, faster than any existing semiconductor technology.

Burke conducted the research along with graduate student Zhen (Jenny) Yu. The findings have been reported in the June 2005 issue of Nano Letters, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

The Army Research Office, the Office of Naval Research, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation provided funding for the research, which took place at UCI’s Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility in The Henry Samueli School of Engineering.

About The Henry Samueli School of Engineering: The Henry Samueli School of Engineering is one of the nation’s fastest growing engineering schools, attracting talented engineering faculty and students from across the nation and abroad. The school consists of five departments: biomedical engineering, chemical engineering and materials science, civil and environmental engineering, electrical engineering and computer science, and mechanical and aerospace engineering. The school is home to numerous research centers, including the Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility, the National Fuel Cell Research Center, the Center for Embedded Computer Systems, and the Center for Pervasive Communications and Computing. Additionally, it is a major participant in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, Calit2. Further, more than a third of the school’s 95 faculty members are fellows in professional societies and seven have been elected into the National Academy of Engineering. For more information, please visit www.eng.uci.edu.

About the University of California, Irvine: Celebrating 40 years of innovation, the University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked public university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,400 faculty members. The second-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3 billion.

Lisa Briggs | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.eng.uci.edu
http://www.today.uci.edu
http://www.uci.edu

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer
19.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung

nachricht System draws power from daily temperature swings
16.02.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Contacting the molecular world through graphene nanoribbons

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

When Proteins Shake Hands

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

Cells communicate in a dynamic code

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>