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Carbon Nanotube Quantum Resistors

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Science  12 Jun 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5370, pp. 1744-1746
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5370.1744

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Abstract

The conductance of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) was found to be quantized. The experimental method involved measuring the conductance of nanotubes by replacing the tip of a scanning probe microscope with a nanotube fiber, which could be lowered into a liquid metal to establish a gentle electrical contact with a nanotube at the tip of the fiber. The conductance of arc-produced MWNTs is one unit of the conductance quantum G 0 = 2e 2/h = (12.9 kilohms)–1. The nanotubes conduct current ballistically and do not dissipate heat. The nanotubes, which are typically 15 nanometers wide and 4 micrometers long, are several orders of magnitude greater in size and stability than other typical room-temperature quantum conductors. Extremely high stable current densities,J > 107 amperes per square centimeter, have been attained.

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