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Architectures for Molecular Electronic Computer Logic

James C. Ellenbogen*

The MITRE Corporation, McLean VA

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


Recently, there have been some significant advances in the fabrication and demonstration of individual molecular electronic switches and wires [1-5]. The objective of this brief presentation is to outline how one might design an ultra-dense electronic computer that incorporates such nanometer-scale molecular electronic devices. That is, based upon the advances to date, the speaker will describe what the molecular logic circuitry for such a nanoelectronic computer might "look" like? [6,7]. Some recent results will be discussed from the ongoing effort at The MITRE Corporation to develop a realizable architecture for a molecular-scale electronic computer.


[1] L.A. Bumm et al., "Are Single Molecular Wires Conducting?" Science, Vol. 271, pp. 1705-1707, 22 March 1996.

[2] C. Zhou et al., "Mesoscopic Phenomena Studied with Mechanically Controllable Break Junctions at Room Temperature," in J. Jortner and M. Ratner (eds.), Molecular Electronics, Blackwell Science Ltd., London, UK, 1997, pp. 191-213.

[3] C. Zhou et al., "Nanoscale metal/self-assembled monolayer/metal heterostructures," Applied Phys. Lett., v. 71. no. 5, 4 Aug. 1997, pp.611-613.

[4] M. Reed, "Self-Assembly Based Approaches to Microelectronic Fabrication and Devices: Surface Passivation, Soft Lithography, Electrically Functional Systems, and Hierarchical Self-Assembly," Presentation at the 1997 DARPA ULTRA Review Conference, Santa Fe, NM, October 1997. This presentation discussed the experimental measurement of a molecular resonant tunneling diode (RTD).

[5] R. M. Metzger et al., "Unimolecular Electrical Rectification in Hexadecylquinolium Tricyanoquinodimethanide," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 15 October 1997.

[6] J. C. Ellenbogen and J. C. Love, "Architectures for molecular electronic computers: 1. Logic structures using molecular electronic diodes," Manuscript in preparation.

[7] J. C. Ellenbogen and J. C. Love, "Architectures for molecular electronic computers: 2. Logic structures using molecular electronic FETs," Manuscript in preparation.

*Corresponding Address:
James C. Ellenbogen, Ph.D.
Principal Scientist, Nanosystems Group
The MITRE Corporation, Mailstop W635
1820 Dolley Madison Boulevard, McLean VA 22102
Phone: (703) 883-5930, Fax: (703) 883-5963/1396 Email:, Web:


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