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High Performance Carbon Nanotube RF Electronics

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9 Author(s)
Hong Zhang ; Northrop Grumman Electronics Systems, MS-3B10, 1212 Winterson Road, Linthicum, MD 21090, ; Joseph A. Payne ; Aaron A. Pesetski ; James E. Baumgardner
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Carbon nanotubes-based electronic devices have attracted interest for future high performance RF and digital applications because of their potential to operate at high speed while simultaneously dissipating low power. Recent device modeling and measurements conducted at Northrop Grumman predict, due to their unique one- dimensional (1-D) physics, RF carbon nanotube (CNT)-based field effect transistors (FET) are capable of achieving 100 - 1000x higher linearity than current state-of-the-art semiconductor device technology, while maintaining the same dissipated power. Alternatively, this increased linearity for CNT FETs can also be traded to reduce the power dissipation. Low noise amplifiers based on CNT FETs could reduce power dissipation by 20 - 30 dB without sacrificing linearity. Because these performance advantages result from the unique physics of a one-dimensional conducting channel, the channel need obviously be narrow (~3nm or less) which puts a limit on the maximum transconductance of the device. A theoretical maximum transconductance of 155 muS projected for a single CNT FET is insufficient to source a standard impedance load (e.g. 50Omega). To make a device capable of driving a 50Omega load requires a FET made from thousands of CNTs in parallel.

Published in:

Device Research Conference, 2008

Date of Conference:

23-25 June 2008