Devices with atomically smooth surfaces could change modern electronics

Foresight’s major interest is the transformations in human life that will be made possible by general purpose systems for the atomically precise fabrication of a wide range of products. Although we will probably have to wait two or three decades for such systems to be developed (unless a major effort is mounted to do it sooner), the following item shows that current advances in nanoscience leading to producing microscale atomically precise surfaces already hold the promise of revolutionary adances in important technologies—in this case electronics technologies. From Oregon State University “Advance Could Change Modern Electronics“:

Researchers at Oregon State University have solved a quest in fundamental material science that has eluded scientists since the 1960s, and could form the basis of a new approach to electronics.

The discovery, just reported online in the professional journal Advanced Materials, outlines the creation for the first time of a high-performance “metal-insulator-metal” diode.

“Researchers have been trying to do this for decades, until now without success,” said Douglas Keszler, a distinguished professor of chemistry at OSU and one of the nation’s leading material science researchers. “Diodes made previously with other approaches always had poor yield and performance.

“This is a fundamental change in the way you could produce electronic products, at high speed on a huge scale at very low cost, even less than with conventional methods,” Keszler said. “It’s a basic way to eliminate the current speed limitations of electrons that have to move through materials.”

A patent has been applied for on the new technology, university officials say. New companies, industries and high-tech jobs may ultimately emerge from this advance, they say. …

Journal Reference (courtesy of ScienceDaily):
E. William Cowell, Nasir Alimardani, Christopher C. Knutson, John F. Conley, Douglas A. Keszler, Brady J. Gibbons, John F. Wager. Advancing MIM Electronics: Amorphous Metal Electrodes. Advanced Materials, 2010; DOI: 10.1002/adma.201002678.

At least for the moment, the full text PDF is available at:

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