Carbon nanotubes are cylindrical carbon molecules that have unusual properties. Depending on which way the sheets of carbon are rolled, they are either metallic, giving them the ability to conduct electricity easily, or they behave like semiconductors, which is useful in terms of creating the logic components of microchips.
Until recently, nanotube production was chancy. But now, two sets of researchers have been able to produce nanotubes more effienctly. In the past, nanotubes were grown on silicon wafers, which caused quite a mess, making them impractical to produce on an industrial scale. With recent advances in production, nanotubes are now grown on crystalline quartz, opening up new possiblites of storing even more information on computer chips.