There’s going to be a point where Moore’s law stops — because the things we build can only get so small before quantum physics starts to really mess with how circuits behave. Still, researchers keep pushing technology to make smaller and smaller devices. Molecular electronics aren’t practical just yet, but the development of nanoscale components isn’t completely ridiculous. Here are just a few examples.
- Origami and kirigami (aka origami that allows for cutting) could be useful in designing electronics from sheets of conductive materials like graphene. Flexible and bendable gadgets could be good for wearable or implantable devices, but it might take a while before graphene is ready for consumer electronics. [url]
- A single molecule diode made from a single symmetric molecule, an ionic solution and two gold electrodes has set a performance record, beating previous molecule-sized diodes by a factor of 50. Clearly, no one is going to be using this diode outside of a lab, but it could help design better fundamental devices with extremely small dimensions. [url]
- A team of scientists has created a field-effect transistor (FET) from a single molecule — but it requires a scanning-tunneling microscope (STM) to function. This isn’t the first single molecule transistor, and it probably won’t be the last. However, it’s still going to be tricky to find a way to make these nanoscale components useful for practical purposes. [url]
After you’ve finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.