Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Kind Of Transistor Radios Show Capability Of Nanotube Technology

Date:
February 4, 2008
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Carbon nanotubes have a sound future in the electronics industry, say researchers who built the world's first all-nanotube transistor radios to prove it. The nanotube radios, in which nanotube devices provide all of the active functionality in the devices, represent "important first steps toward the practical implementation of carbon-nanotube materials into high-speed analog electronics and other related applications," according to one of the researchers.

Schematic exploded view of a radio-frequency transistor that uses parallel, aligned arrays of carbon nanotubes for the semiconductor.
Credit: Images courtesy John Rogers

Carbon nanotubes have a sound future in the electronics industry, say researchers who built the world's first all-nanotube transistor radios to prove it.

The nanotube radios, in which nanotube devices provide all of the active functionality in the devices, represent "important first steps toward the practical implementation of carbon-nanotube materials into high-speed analog electronics and other related applications," said John Rogers, a Founder Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois.

Rogers is a corresponding author of a paper* that describes the design, fabrication and performance of the nanotube-transistor radios, which were achieved in a close collaboration with radio frequency electronics engineers at Northrop Grumman Electronics Systems in Linthicum, Md.

"These results indicate that nanotubes might have an important role to play in high-speed analog electronics, where benchmarking studies against silicon indicate significant advantages in comparably scaled devices, together with capabilities that might complement compound semiconductors," said Rogers, who also is a researcher at the Beckman Institute and at the university's Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory.

Practical nanotube devices and circuits are now possible, thanks to a novel growth technique developed by Rogers and colleagues at the U. of I., Lehigh and Purdue universities, and described last year in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

The growth technique produces linear, horizontally aligned arrays of hundreds of thousands of carbon nanotubes that function collectively as a thin-film semiconductor material in which charge moves independently through each of the nanotubes. The arrays can be integrated into electronic devices and circuits by conventional chip-processing techniques.

"The ability to grow these densely packed horizontal arrays of nanotubes to produce high current outputs, and the ability to manufacture the arrays reliably and in large quantities, allows us to build circuits and transistors with high performance and ask the next question," Rogers said. "That question is: 'What type of electronics is the most sensible place to explore applications of nanotubes"' Our results suggest that analog RF (radio frequency) represents one such area."

As a demonstration of the growth technique and today's nanotube analog potential, Rogers and collaborators at the U. of I. and Northrop Grumman fabricated nanotube transistor radios, in which nanotube devices provided all of the key functions.

The radios were based on a heterodyne receiver design consisting of four capacitively coupled stages: an active resonant antenna, two radio-frequency amplifiers, and an audio amplifier, all based on nanotube devices. Headphones plugged directly into the output of a nanotube transistor. In all, seven nanotube transistors were incorporated into the design of each radio.

In one test, the researchers tuned one of the nanotube-transistor radios to WBAL-AM (1090) in Baltimore, to pick up a traffic report.

"We were not trying to make the world's tiniest radios," Rogers said. "The nanotube radios are a demonstration, an important milestone toward building the technology into a form that ultimately would be commercially competitive with entrenched approaches."

*The paper has been accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and is to be published in PNAS Online Early Edition in the first week in February, 2008.

The work was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "New Kind Of Transistor Radios Show Capability Of Nanotube Technology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080129125521.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2008, February 4). New Kind Of Transistor Radios Show Capability Of Nanotube Technology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080129125521.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "New Kind Of Transistor Radios Show Capability Of Nanotube Technology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080129125521.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) The Chasqui I, hand-delivered into orbit by a Russian cosmonaut, is one of hundreds of small satellites set to go up in the next few years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins