Washington, Jan 26 : Scientists have developed a procedure for creating highly pure carbon nanotubes needed for the development of the next generation of electronic devices, which would be on the nano-scale.
Developed by researchers at University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), US, the discovery could break the scientific bottleneck keeping electronic devices from shrinking to the nanoscale.
According to Dr. Wei Zhao, professor in UALR's Department of Chemistry in the College of Science and Math, semi-conducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) with diameter of about one nanometer have attracted the most attention as a new generation material - a possible replacement for silicon for nanoelectronics.
So far, scientists had been unable produce this uniform type of nanotubes that the nano electronic systems would need.
But, the UALR team found a way.
"Our current work combines selective growth of a few nanotubes with chromatographic separation to achieve near single type purity nanotube production - a big step toward the SWNT applications," said Zhao.
"The semiconductor industry has been improving the performance of electronic systems for more than four decades by making ever-smaller devices down to nanometer scale. However, this approach will soon encounter both scientific and technical limits," he added.
According to Dr. Michael Gealt, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at UALR, the availability of pure single-wall nanotubes will also greatly enhance the creation of new products useful for the consumer.
"Dr. Zhao's technique promises to provide industry with a critical starting material for development of manufactured goods with greater electrical efficiency, thereby helping to conserve electricity while making products that work better," he said.