Electronic Design

NEC Creates Fast Carbon Nanotube Transistor

The successful fabrication by NEC Corp. of a carbon nanotube (CNT) transistor using a coating process confirms the feasibility of environmentally friendly electronic devices using CNTs. To create the transistor, NEC developed a channel-coating process capable of controlling the density of the CNT. The CNT transistors are based on new design guidelines and technology. Organic transistors and other printed electronics are a potential answer to the need to reduce the environmental impact of the growth in electronic products. Printed electronics technologies allow transistor to be formed by printing them directly onto the substrate. This dramatically simplifies manufacturing processes compared to conventional semiconductors. Waste material generated by the manufacturing process can be reduced, and CO2 emissions can be slashed by more that 90 percent, according to NEC. Despite performance variations, NEC said it achieved extremely high mobility (the speed at which electrons move in the material) for a transistor manufactured using this type of coating process. The channel materials of conventional research organic transistors generally demonstrate low mobility, making them unsuitable for high-speed electronic devices. However, the CNT transistors based on the new coating technique exhibited 100 times greater mobility than regular organic transistors.

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