Nanoelectronics: The New Frontier?

By Mark Lundstrom

Purdue University

Published on


After forty years of advances in integrated circuit technology, microelectronics is undergoing a transformation to nanoelectronics. Modern day MOSFETs now have channel lengths of only 50 nm, and billion transistor logic chips have arrived. Moore’s Law continues, but the end of MOSFET scaling is in sight. At the same time, there are exciting new advances in carbon nanotube electronics, semiconductor nanowires, and molecular electronics, and spintronics. How long will the evolutionary approaches that have been so successful for 40 years continue to fuel progress? What role will new ideas from nanotechnology play in the field of electronic device technology? Is nanoelectronics the new frontier of electronic devices?

In the Fall of 2002, we launched two nanotechnology initiatives at Purdue University – the NASA-funded Institute for Nanoelectronics and Computing ( and the NSF-funded Network for Computational Nanotechnology ( As we launched those programs, I presented my thoughts on where the field was heading in a talk, "Nanoelectronics and the Future of Microelectronics." I made some predictions, but concluded that everything would be much clearer in 2-3 years. Since it has been more than two years since I gave that talk, it is time to report back with my current thoughts of where electronic device technology is heading and what the role of unconventional nanotechnologies will be. Things are still not as clear as I had hoped they would be, but the field is even more interesting than it was a few years ago, and I hope that the audience will help me think through where were are heading.

Breeze Presentations use Macromedia Breeze and only require installation of the Flash Player. to view.
Video Stream usage requires installation of Microsoft Windows Media Player.


Mark Lundstrom is the Don and Carol Scifres Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University where his teaching and research center on the physics, technology, and simulation of electronic devices. Lundstrom is the founding director of the NSF-funded Network for Computational Nanotechnology, which has a mission of research, education, leadership, and service to the nation’s National Nanotechnology Initiative. He serves on the leadership councils of the NASA-funded Institute for Nanoelectronics and Computing and the MARCO Focus Center for Materials, Structures, and Devices. Lundstrom's work has been recognized by several awards, most recently, in 2005, from the Semiconductor Industry Association in recognition of his career contributions to the semiconductor industry.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Mark Lundstrom (2005), "Nanoelectronics: The New Frontier?,"

    BibTex | EndNote



Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN