& cplSiteName &

Infineon Claims Carbon Nanotube First

Light Reading
News Wire Feed
Light Reading
2/23/2004
50%
50%

MUNICH -- Researchers at semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies AG have succeeded, for the first time, in using carbon nanotubes to manufacture power semiconductors. Infineon scientists from Munich, Germany, have now demonstrated the first nanotube switch that can control light emitting diodes (LEDs) or electric motors. This is considered a breakthrough for nanotechnology, since scientists previously assumed that these miniature atomic-sized components were not suitable for the high voltages and currents used in power applications. Power semiconductors made of carbon nanotubes may one day make it possible to produce power switches that are much smaller and less expensive to manufacture than has been possible until now.

Nanotubes are microscopic “pipes” that are made out of carbon atoms and have a diameter of one millionth of a millimeter. A human hair is approximately 100,000 times thicker. These miniature tubes have already been used in research laboratories to make transistors for computer chips in order to store and process information, but only low voltages and currents are used for such tasks. On the other hand, the voltages and currents used in power transistors – such as the ones employed in electric motors, lamps or power supply units – are more than 1,000 times higher. These transistors serve as power switches with the primary objective of minimizing energy losses or eliminating the need for mechanical components. Currently, power semiconductors are made primarily of silicon, but their production process is relatively complex and expensive.

With their first prototype, Infineon researchers have demonstrated that carbon nanotubes can also function as power transistors. The prerequisite: Groups of hundreds or thousands have to be packed together in parallel. Infineon’s prototype can switch LEDs and small electric motors at a voltage of 2.5 volts. It consists of approximately 300 nanotubes arranged in parallel. The main advantages offered by the new type of power transistor can be seen in the significantly simpler manufacturing process, higher switching speeds, reduced heat development and in the high current densities that the tightly packed carbon tubes are able to withstand. Power transistors made of carbon nanotubes are still in the basic research stage. It is not yet clear how long it will be before they can be produced commercially in large numbers.

Infineon Technologies AG

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Federal Funds for Broadband? Unlikely
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/12/2018
Has Europe Switched to a Fiber Diet? Not Yet...
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 2/15/2018
Net Neutrality: States' Rights vs. the FCC
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/13/2018
Will China React to Latest US Huawei, ZTE Slapdown?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 2/16/2018
IBM, Microsoft Duke It Out Over Chief Diversity Hire
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/15/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed