Thursday, April 22, 2010

US Patent 7701013 - Nanoelectromechanical transistor

In the last 10 years the company Nantero has introduced a variety of designs for nanomechanical switches based on carbon nanotube ribbons. This patent from IBM teaches a way to integrate nanotube mechanical switches into a more conventional field effect transistor structures having more predictable characteristics. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanoelectromechanical transistor (NEMT) comprising:

an insulative substrate including a gate adjacent thereto, and a source region and a drain region separated from the gate by an insulator;

an electromechanically deflectable nanotube member; and

a channel member electrically insulatively coupled to the nanotube member so as to be aligned with the source region and the drain region, wherein electromechanical deflection of the nanotube member is controllable, in response to an electrical potential applied to the gate and the nanotube member, between an off state and an on state, the on state placing the channel member in electrical connection with the source region and the drain region to form a current path.