The Road Ahead for Carbon Nanotube Transistors

By Aaron Franklin

IBM T. J. Watson Research Center

View Presentation

Additional materials available (4)

Licensed under General Performance Usage.

Published on


Single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are among the most researched materials in the world. One of the foremost potential applications for CNTs is as the channel for next-generation transistors. While some of the CNT field-effect transistor (CNTFET) research community gave way to the rise of another carbon allotrope—graphene—in the mid-2000s, progress in the CNTFET field did not stop. In fact, in recent years the benefits of CNTFETs in a digital technology have become more evident and accessible; from the recent validation that a sub-10 nm CNT channel outperforms the best silicon competition to demonstrations of CNTFET circuits, including those on flexible and/or transparent substrates, with operating voltages as low as 0.4 V. In this talk, recent advancements in the nanotube transistor field will be reviewed, showing why CNTFETs are worth considering now more than ever. Then, the material- and device-related challenges to realizing a nanotube-driven digital technology will be covered. By discussing the remaining obstacles and presenting recent progress toward addressing them, it is hoped that those in attendance may develop new ideas to contribute to overcoming these hurdles. Important considerations for next generation transistors from other materials will also be reviewed, revealing how different the road ahead is from the past. Overall, this talk should provide a reasonable overview of the CNT transistor field—where it has been, where it may go, and why more people should be along for the ride.


Aaron Franklin Aaron Franklin received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2008 and his B.S.E. degree from Arizona State University in 2004, both in electrical engineering. Since 2009, he has been a Research Staff Member at IBM's T. J. Watson Research Center working in the area of low-dimensional nanoelectronics. His research focuses on the integration of nanomaterials into electronic devices, including high-performance transistors, thin-film transistors, supercapacitors, and photovoltaic cells. His Ph.D. research at Purdue was funded by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Before beginning his graduate studies, Aaron worked as a Component Design Engineer for Intel Corporation.

Sponsored by

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Aaron Franklin (2013), "The Road Ahead for Carbon Nanotube Transistors,"

    BibTex | EndNote



Birck Nanotechnology Building, Room 2001, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN