Nanotube transistor makes light

IBM researchers have created an electrically-controlled light emitter based on a nanotube 1.4 nanometre in diameter that has been configured as a three terminal transistor.

IBM scientists engineered the device to be ‘ambipolar’, so they could simultaneously inject negative charges (electrons) from the source electrode and positive charges (holes) from the drain electrode into the single carbon nanotube.

When the electrons and holes meet in the nanotube, they neutralise each other and generate light.

Because it is a transistor, the light emitter can be switched on and off depending on the voltage applied to the gate of the device.

A report on the development entitled ‘Induced Optical Emission from a Carbon Nanotube FET’ was published in the May 2 issue of Science magazine.

For a copy of the full manuscript, readers can email <a href=’mailto:scipak@aaas.org’>scipak@aaas.org</a> or call (202) 326-6440 and request paper number 15 in the May 2 issue.

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