Aug
13
2006

Single molecule stores data

Molecular memory: photo from Wikipedia commons
Molecular memory: photo from Wikipedia commons

IBM memory the size of one molecule

Electronic memory circuits "remember" by switching between two distinct conductive states, (on or off). These conductive states need to be stable and allow non-destructive sensing of their bit state. In the August 4 issue of SMALL, IBM researchers Heike Riel and Emanuel Lörtscher reported on such a single-molecule switch and memory element.
With dimensions of a single molecule on the order of one nanometer (one millionth of a millimeter), molecular electronics redefines the ultimate limit of miniaturization far beyond that of today's silicon-based technology(100 X smaller).

How small can we go?

Whenever memory technology appears to approach physical limitations, a new paradigm allows ever smaller memories. The evolution of memory started with electromechanical relays. Then came vacuum tubes, transistors, ferrite cores, integrated circuits, magnetic tapes and discs, optical discs, and holographic discs. Now we have memory the size of a molecule. Will atom sized memory be next?

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

izzy mae's picture
izzy mae says:

Is a ipod nano part of naotechnology

posted on Fri, 02/16/2007 - 11:43am
bryan kennedy's picture

The iPod nano is a popular product that people think of when the word “nano” comes to mind. But there isn’t any nanotechnology driving this little MP3 player—just a marketing campaign.

Some people have stated that the microprocessors in the nano represent continuing work to make microchips a the nano scale, but I wouldn't say this is enough of a reason to say that the iPod nano is a nanotech product.

I like this post that likens the current spurious use of the word nano to the previous decade's use of the word turbo: Nano is the new turbo.

posted on Fri, 02/16/2007 - 1:31pm

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