Quantum Theory Could Expand the Limits of Computer Chips

September 20, 2001 | Source: New York Times

Quantum theory may turn out to have surprisingly practical applications in manufacturing faster computer chips getting around the wavelength limits of traditional optical lithography.University of Maryland at Baltimore scientists experimentally verified a way to focus light to far less than half its wavelength. The technique could lead to smaller, faster chips without the need to change the basic manufacturing processes of lithography.

In the experiment, they forced photons into entangled pairs that were used to exceed the classical wavelength limit. This could theoretically allow for four times as many circuits to be placed on a chip.

A suitable material must now be developed that could convert the special properties of two-photon light into a photoresistive layer.