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In 1959, physicist Richard Feynman presented an
amazing talk entitled There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom, in which he proposed making very small circuits out of molecules. More than forty years later, people are starting to realize his vision. Thanks to Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) probes and "self-assembly" fabrication techniques, it is now possible to connect electrodes to a molecule and measure its conductance. In 2004, Mark Hersam et al. reported the first experimental measurement of a molecular resonant tunneling device on silicon. This new field of Molecular
Electronics may someday provide the means to miniaturize circuits beyond the limits of silicon, keeping Moore's Law in force for many years to come.
Learn more about molecular electronics from the resources on this site, listed below. More information on Molecular electronics can be found here.
Feasibility of Molecular Manufacturing
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14 Mar 2005 |
Martin and Laura have an interesting debate about the feasibility of Molecular Manufacturing. Can molecular assemblers be developed to create new materials, new devices, and even macroscopic objects? Find out... If Martin ever wakes up!
Scanning Probe Microscopes
15 Mar 2005 |
Laura explains how scanning probe microscopes can be used to create images of small devices, molecules, and even atoms! A large-scale version of the scanning probe microscope is built out of Legos to show the basic principles.