Carbon nanotubes are so small that they can only been seen through electron microscopes, yet when it comes to the world of electronics, they may be one of the biggest ideas in years. First invented in 1991, these tiny tubes are long cylinders of carbon with diameters of as little as 1 nanometer.
Although they have a variety of applications in nanotechnology and optics, one of the most promising uses of nanotubes is in making better and more energy-efficient electronics. Carbon nanotubes make excellent diodes, the semiconductor components so critical to the functionality of many electronic devices, including transistors and LEDs. Many diodes are currently made of silicon, but advances in carbon nanotube technology make them an exciting alternative.
Carbon nanotube diodes are not only smaller than traditional diodes; they can also perform more efficiently and better. As research continues, the potential of these tiny carbon components to revolutionize electronics will only grow.
About the Author:
Argiris Malapanis is a nanoscience researcher and Ph.D. candidate who has written extensively on the topic of carbon nanotube diodes.