Monday, August 14, 2006

US Patent 7087921 - Nanotube RF Switch

Nanotube based FETs have been demonstrated by several different universities and corporations. Usually these designs employ the traditional source/drain/gate configuration of FET transistors, however this patent proposes a modification of this design. Instead of using a direct contact between the gate contact and the nanotube, the gate of this patent is used as an EM wave source to alter the conductive properties of a nanotube fixed between the source and drain conductors. Claim 1 reads:

1. A driving method of an electronic apparatus having an active electronic device including a carbon nanotube, a first electrode connected to one end of the carbon nanotube, a second electrode connected to the other end of the carbon nanotube, and a third electrode placed near the carbon nanotube to irradiate the carbon nanotube with electromagnetic waves, the method comprising: causing the third electrode to output electromagnetic waves; and varying a frequency of the electromagnetic waves to control a conductance of the carbon nanotube, wherein the frequency includes at least a predetermined frequency so that the conductance of the carbon nanotube is increased.