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Carbon Nanotube Functions Like Atom-scale Switch

Date:
January 19, 2007
Source:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Summary:
ORNL researchers performing basic research have discovered a carbon nanotube-based system that functions like an atom-scale switch. Their approach is to perform first-principles calculations on positioning a molecule inside a carbon nanotube to affect the electronic current flowing across it.

ORNL researchers performing basic research have discovered a carbon nanotube-based system that functions like an atom-scale switch.

Their approach is to perform first-principles calculations on positioning a molecule inside a carbon nanotube to affect the electronic current flowing across it.

The result is an electrical gate at the molecular level: In one position, the molecular gate is open, allowing current through; in another position, the gate is closed, blocking the current. In a silicon chip, the gate is a silicon oxide barrier within the structure of the chip. In the ORNL model, the gate is a short molecule --encapsulated inside the carbon nanotube-- that is about one nanometer in size, or three orders of magnitude smaller than a silicon chip.

The paper is slated to appear in the Feb 2 Physical Review Letters.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "Carbon Nanotube Functions Like Atom-scale Switch." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070118163139.htm>.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (2007, January 19). Carbon Nanotube Functions Like Atom-scale Switch. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070118163139.htm
Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "Carbon Nanotube Functions Like Atom-scale Switch." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070118163139.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

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