Technology

New material for nano-scale computer chips

Nano-chemists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Nano-Science Centre, Department of Chemistry at University of Copenhagen have developed nano-scale electric contacts out of organic and inorganic nano-wires. In the contact they have crossed the wires like Mikado sticks and coupled several contacts together in an electric circuit. In this way they have produced prototype computer electronics on the nano-scale, according to a press release.

Alternative to silicon computers

Today the foundation of our computers, mobile phones and other electronic apparatus is silicon transistors. A transistor is in principal an on- and off- contact and there are millions of tiny transistors on every computer chip. However, we are reaching the limit for how small we can make transistors out of silicon.

We already use various organic materials in, for example, flat screens, such as OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode). The new results show how small and advanced devices made of organic materials can become.

Thomas Bjørnholm, Director of the Nano-Science Center, Department of Chemistry at University of Copenhagen explains:

We have succeeded in placing several transistors consisting of nanowires together on a nano device. It is a first step towards realisation of future electronic circuitry based on organic materials – a possible substitute for today's silicon-based technologies. This offers the possibility of making computers in different ways in the future.

Danish-Chinese nanoelectronics

The researchers have used organic nanowires combined with the tin oxide nanowires in a so-called hybrid circuit. As in a Mikado game, the nanowires cross in a device consisting of 4-6 active transistor moieties. The devices have a low operational current, high mobility and good stability and that is essential in order for the material to be able to compete with silicon.

Professor Wenping Hu, Chinese Academy of Sciences is excited over the results:

This work is the first significant result of our collaboration with the researchers from the Nano-Science Center. It is a good starting point for our new Danish-Chinese research centre for molecular nano-electronics and it underlines the fact that we can complement each other and that together we can achieve exciting and important results.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 28, 2020 9:35:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/New-material-for-nano-scale-computer-chips/article16875635.ece

Next Story