Molecular switches a step closer to building a computer from the bottom up

October 29, 2001 | Source: Small Times

UCLA researchers have moved an important step closer to building a computer from the bottom up: They have attached molecular switches on a grid as small as 50 nanometers.
The team has developed a 16-bit memory circuit that uses molecular switches that “work pretty well” on traditional wiring, said James Heath, UCLA chemistry and biochemistry professor and co-scientific director of the California NanoSystems Institute. The process uses chemical assembly and fluidics to mount the switches on a crossbar-type structure.

The next step is to place and connect the molecular switches on a lithographic grid. The molecular switches change their conductivity as electricity passes through.

Molecular computers one day could be much cheaper, smaller and more efficient than today’s silicon-based computers, with vast increases in processing power.