IBM takes circuits to new, small heights

Oct. 25, 2002 — Calling it “a milestone in the quest for nanometer-scale computer circuitry,” IBM researchers have built working computer circuits using individual molecules of carbon monoxide.

Scientists at IBM’s Almaden Research Center made the circuits by creating a precise pattern of carbon monoxide molecules on a copper surface. Moving a single molecule starts a cascade of molecule motions, according to a news release based on an article published in Thursday’s online edition of Science Magazine, Science Express.

The researchers then designed and created tiny structures that demonstrated the fundamental digital-logic functions, data storage and retrieval and the wiring necessary to connect them into functioning computing circuitry.

The scientists said the circuits are the smallest made to date, but the research remains exploratory. Still, they are impressed by how rapidly they moved from initial discovery to design and operation of functional circuitry, the report said.


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