from the circuit-logic dept.
Researchers at IBM have created and demonstrated the world's first logic-performing computer circuit within a single molecule, according to an IBM press release. The device, based on a carbon nanotube, functions as a voltage inverter and thus acts as a NOT gate — one of the three fundamental binary logic circuits that are the basis for digital computers. They encoded the entire inverter logic function along the length of a single carbon nanotube, forming the world's first single-molecule logic circuit.
The achievement was announced on 26 August 2001 at at the 222nd National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) held in Chicago. The full research paper describing the device is available in the online ACS journal, Nano Letters ("Carbon Nanotube Inter- and Intramolecular Logic Gates")
In April 2001, the same IBM team became the first to develop a technique to produce arrays of carbon nanotube transistors, bypassing the need to separate metallic and semiconducting nanotubes. The team used these nanotube transistors to make the NOT circuit.