New Scientist Tech - Breaking News - Carbon nanotubes pinned down at last: "A new technique that places carbon nanotubes exactly where they are needed could help overcome one of the biggest obstacles blocking the development of nanotube-based electronic devices.
The method uses a specially constructed molecule that attaches one end to a carbon nanotube and the other end to a strip of metal oxide that has been placed on piece of silicon. The nanotubes are just a few nanometres in diameter, and knowing exactly where a tube is means researchers can use it to make a transistor.
'We can use this approach to make lots of devices,' says team member James B Hannon, at IBM's T J Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, US.
Researchers have previously created nanotube-based transistors, which could eventually be used to make smaller, faster computers. But there was no efficient way of exactly positioning nanotubes. Some researchers have manipulated tubes one at a time with atomic force microscopes. Others have laid down thousands at random, and then created contacts and repeatedly tested them until they found a working circuit.