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Imaging tool to screen tiny tubes

2010-11-17

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Chen Yang
Assistant Professor Physical Chemistry

Professor Chen Yang and a team of researchers have demonstrated a new imaging tool for rapidly screening structures called single-wall carbon nanotubes, possibly hastening their use in creating a new class of computers and electronics that are faster and consume less power than today's.

The semiconducting nanostructures might be used to revolutionize electronics by replacing conventional silicon components and circuits. However, one obstacle in their application is that metallic versions form unavoidably during the manufacturing process, contaminating the semiconducting nanotubes.

The researchers have discovered a new technique to determine the "metallicity" of the tubes and Purdue assistant professor of physical chemistry, Chen Yang, suggests that the method might be used to screen the nanotubes for nanoelectronics.

"When you make nanocircuits, you only want the semiconducting ones, so it's very important to have a method to identify the metallic nanotubes," Yang said.


Findings are detailed in a research paper appearing online this week in the journalPhysical Review Letters.

The paper was written by Purdue physics doctoral student Yookyung Jung; biomedical engineering research scientist Mikhail N. Slipchenko; Chang-Hua Liu, an electrical engineering graduate student at the University of Michigan; Alexander E. Ribbe, manager of the Nanotechnology Group in Purdue's Department of Chemistry; Zhaohui Zhong, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Michigan; and Yang and Cheng. The Michigan researchers produced the nanotubes.

The research is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Read journal article (PDF)

Source: Purdue News Service

Related links: Yang Research Group

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