MIT researchers built microprocessor comprised of carbon nanotube transistors that can be built with existing silicon chip fabrication processes

September 3, 2019

  • Microprocessors with CNFET – Researchers at MIT developed new 16-bit microprocessor with over 14,000 carbon nanotube field-effect transistors (CNFET) that are 10 times more energy efficient and faster compared to silicon chips
  • Previous Problem – CNFETs cannot be made without defects when manufactured at scale and therefore impractical to use
  • Fixing Material Defects – Devised technique called DREAM (designing resiliency against metallic CNTs) that positions metallic CNFETs in different way so that 99.99% pure carbon nanotubes can be used without disrupting computing
  • Solving Manufacturing Defects – Created RINSE (removal of incubated nanotubes through selective exfoliation) technique wherein wafer where carbon nanotubes will be placed is pretreated with agent, coated with polymer and dipped in special solvent, preventing nanotubes from forming big bundles
  • Addressing Functional Issues – Developed MIXED (metal interface engineering crossed with electrostatic doping) which fine tunes characteristics of CNFET by attaching certain metals (either platinum or titanium) on transistors and coating them in oxide compound through atomic layer deposition
  • Existing Fabrication Processes – Showed techniques can be adapted for existing silicon chip manufacturing facilities, which can allow carbon nanotube-based chips to be commercialized potentially in less than five years (by 2024)

Image Source: MIT News

Image Source: MIT News

Sector: Information Technology
Functions: IT Infrastructure, Operations, Manufacturing and Production
Organization: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Original Publication Date: August 28, 2019

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