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Constructing a Computer from Molecular Components

James M. Tour*

Department of Chemistry and Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Rice University,
6100 Main Street, Houston TX 77005

This is an abstract for a presentation given at the
Eighth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.
There will be a link from here to the full article when it is available on the web.


Research efforts directed toward constructing a molecular computer will be described. Routes will be outlined from the synthesis of the basic building blocks such as wires and alligator clips, to the assembly of the entire CPU. Specific achievements include: (1) isolation of single molecules in alkane thiolate self-assembled monolayers and addressing them with an STM probe, (2) single molecule conductance measurements using a mechanically controllable break junction, (3) 30 nm bundles, approximately 1000 molecules, of precisely tailored molecular structures showing negative differential resistance with peak-to-valley responses far exceeding those for solid state devices, (4) dynamic random access memories (DRAMs) constructed from 1000 molecule units that possess 10 minute information hold times (5) demonstration of single-molecule switching events and (6) initial assemblies of molecular CPUs.

*Corresponding Address:
James M. Tour
Chao Professor of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry and Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology,
Rice University
P.O. Box 1892, MS 222, Houston, Texas 77251-1892


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