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Nanotube research hastened

Must be a job for Supercomputer
Fri Sep 27 2002, 10:56
INTEL WILL BE KEEPING a close eye on research being carried out by boffins given access to the Earth Simulator - the world's fastest supercomputer.

According to the Japanese Nikkei newswire, a group of nanotechnologists will be given access to the beast to study carbon nanotubes.

The scientists from the US and Japan have got together to study carbon nanotubes, using the Earth Simulator. The tiddly tubes are made up of rolls of carbon atoms which can exhibit the properties both of a metal and of a semiconductor.

Applications for the technology include future circuitry and may be used in fuel cells or coming generations of flat panel screens, the wire suggests. Intel is looking hard at carbon nanotube technology as we reported here .

A professor from Michigan State University, David Tomanek, said: "We've just been waiting to gain access to a computer like the EarthSimulator." Tomanek leads research into theoretical condensed matter physics at the University

The researchers will study the properties of a stretch of nanotube measuring 120 nanometers in length and made up of 20,000 carbon atoms. Analysing the data from such a simulation would take months, according to the experts. The Supercomputer can deal with it an a single day.

The researchers expect to be able to establish whether carbon nanotubes could be used to cool the ultra-highly integrated circuits of the future. µ


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