Achieving High Current Drive Carbon Nanotube Field Effect Transistors

  • Authors:
    Max Shulaker (Stanford), Gage Hills (Stanford), Marta Giachino (Stanford), H.-S. Philip Wong (Stanford), Subhasish Mitra (Stanford), Gregory M. Pitner (Stanford)
    Publication ID:
    Publication Type:
    Received Date:
    Last Edit Date:
    2385.003 (University of California/Berkeley)


While scaling of traditional silicon-based metal-on-semiconductor field effect transistors (Si-MOSFETs) has resulted in improved circuit performance over the last several decades, continued scaling has proven increasingly difficult. Carbon nanotube (CNT)-based digital electronics promise both increased performance and improved energy efficiency beyond the limitations of current silicon-based transistors; digital logic systems built from carbon nanotube field effect transistors (CNFETs) are predicted to outperform silicon-based circuits by more than an order of magnitude in terms of energy-delay product, a measure of both speed and energy efficiency. However, despite this promise, the drive current (ION) and subsequent performance of CNFETs does not yet compete with that of Si-MOSFETs. A major contributing factor to this lower performance is low CNT density. While CNT density of 100-200 CNTs/µm is required, typical CNT growth techniques yield 1-10 CNTs/µm. We demonstrate a new method for overcoming this substantial obstacle, and reproducibly demonstrate CNFETs with the highest current drive to-date, while simultaneously achieving high ION/IOFF: another requirement for high-performance digital logic. This is the first demonstration of CNFETs with average density above 100 CNTs/µm with highly-aligned CNTs, with current drives approaching that of similarly-scaled and similarly-biased Si-MOSFETs in production in major semiconductor foundries. It is an important milestone as CNTs are one of few emerging nanotechnologies that are staged to create the next generation of highly energy efficient and high-performance digital electronic systems.

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20–22 September 2015
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