University of California at Berkeley has made a big announcement:
Transistors based on carbon rather than silicon could potentially boost computers’ speed and cut their power consumption more than a thousandfold — think of a mobile phone that holds its charge for months — but the set of tools needed to build working carbon circuits has remained incomplete until now.
A team of chemists and physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, has finally created the last tool in the toolbox, a metallic wire made entirely of carbon, setting the stage for a ramp-up in research to build carbon-based transistors and, ultimately, computers.
“Staying within the same material, within the realm of carbon-based materials, is what brings this technology together now,” said Felix Fischer, UC Berkeley professor of chemistry, noting that the ability to make all circuit elements from the same material makes fabrication easier. “That has been one of the key things that has been missing in the big picture of an all-carbon-based integrated circuit architecture.”
Heat was used to induce the molecules to join together, in a process Fischer compares to an atomic-scale set of Legos. “They are all precisely engineered so that there is only one way they can fit together. It’s as if you take a bag of Legos, and you shake it, and out comes a fully assembled car. That is the magic of controlling the self-assembly with chemistry…”
“I believe this technology will revolutionize how we build integrated circuits in the future…” Fischer said.