IBM has built the world's first array of carbon nanotube transistors. These tiny carbon atomic cylinders measure about 10 atoms across, are 500 times smaller than today's transistors and said to be 1,000 times stronger than steel. These findings will help in the making of smaller and hence faster chips. Carbon nanotubes may provide an alternative at the time when the physical limits of silicon technology will be reached.

Only semiconducting carbon nanotubes can be used to make transistors - the key component in electrical components and chips. Earlier manufacturing process caused the semiconducting nanotubes to stick together in a rope like structure and get overpowered by the metallic nanotubes. This required each tube to be moved and separated individually. The IBM team were able to overcome this using constructive destruction, where only semiconducting nanotubes are produced with the electrical properties useful for making transistors.