Molecular Electronics on Silicon

Roland Piquepaille writes "In order to build ever smaller electronic circuits, the semiconductor industry will have some day to move from current lithography technologies to something different, such as molecular electronics. This new process is pioneered by a group of engineers at Northwestern University. They are using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to precisely align multiple types of molecules on a silicon surface at room temperature. Their nanofabrication process will soon lead to molecular transistors or light-emitting diodes. As this new process works at room temperature, this means it is possible to integrate it with current technologies. Putting it in another way, in some future, we'll still be able to look at the screens of our computers, but we'll not see the chips inside, even with a home microscope. Read more for more details and great pictures."

Ed. Note. I'm not sure they are going to be able to build "molecular transistors" out of the molecules they are using (styrene and TEMPO). I believe TEMPO is a spin trap so it might have some interesting electrical properties. But viable electronics applications are probably some distance into the future. On top of that there is no parallelism in STMs. One isn't going to get 50 million transistor chips anytime soon with a single tip STM.

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