Chances are, the chips in the electronic device you're using to read this right now are based on silicon. But as demand continues for faster, better, smaller electronics devices, the question arises -- what comes after silicon?
In this segment, Ira talks with researcher John Rogers about the possibilities of electronics based on carbon nanotubes. Rogers and colleagues, writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describe creating practical transistor devices on arrays of aligned carbon nanotubes. As a demonstration of the technology, the team built a six-transistor radio capable of tuning in to regular FM radio transmissions. The active components of the device, all nanotube-based, would fit on the head of a pin. “We were not trying to make the world’s tiniest radios,” he 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.” We'll find out more.
Produced by Charles Bergquist, Director and Contributing Producer