Growing carbon nanotubes on silicon could enable nanoscale transistors, but only if designers can specify exactly where the tiny devices grow. Engineers at Case Western Reserve University have demonstrated how to grow nanotubes exactly where designers want them � self-aligned across a wafer.
The researchers also reported that the nanotubes self-welded during growth, and claimed that their nanotube-enabled wafers need only to be diced and wire-bonded to a chip carrier. This would make them as reliable and cost effective as current chips. "Our contribution has been to come up with a technique where the nanotubes grow where you want them to grow � between two electrical posts," said Massood Tabib-Azar, a professor in the electrical engineering department at Case Western (Cleveland).