Molecular computer memory developed

June 11, 2001 | Source: Nature Science Update

A RAM memory prototype using organic molecular switches has been developed by researchers at Yale University. An array of molecules between two gold electrodes is used to store a 1 or 0 by applying a voltage pulse to the electrodes, causing the molecules to be kicked into another state in which their electrons are arranged differently, resulting in higher or lower conductivity.

Currently, 1000 molecules are used (all of them are switched together by the voltage pulses applied to the electrodes). This already makes for a smaller memory device than a transistor. But the researchers say that, if molecules could be wired up individually rather than in groups, there is no reason why each could not be switched independently, so that each molecule encodes a bit.