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Ultra-dense memory device uses molecular nanotechnology

Physorg.com and many others report a molecular nanotechnology achievement by a UCLA/Caltech nanotech team:

A team of UCLA and California Institute of Technology chemists reports in the Jan. 25 issue of the journal Nature the successful demonstration of a large-scale, “ultra-dense” memory device that stores information using reconfigurable molecular switches. This research represents an important step toward the creation of molecular computers that are much smaller and could be more powerful than today’s silicon-based computers…

The memory is based on a series of perpendicular, crossing nanowires, similar to a tic-tac-toe board, with 400 bottom wires and another 400 crossing top wires. Sitting at each crossing of the tic-tac-toe structure and serving as the storage element are approximately 300 bistable rotaxane molecules. These molecules may be switched between two different states, and each junction of a crossbar can be addressed individually by controlling the voltages applied to the appropriate top and bottom crossing wires, forming a bit at each nanowire crossing.

The 160-kilobit molecular memory was fabricated at a density of 100,000,000,000 (1011) bits per square centimeter — “a density predicted for commercial memory devices in approximately 2020,” Stoddart said.

Another article I ran across on this — and which I cannot locate currently — reported that only 30% of the devices worked, but that this is not a problem for operation because the design is defect tolerant. It also claimed that the molecular switches break after being switched 10 times. So these are early days — but very exciting nonetheless. The names of researchers Fraser Stoddart and James Heath should be familiar to Foresight members, from Foresight Conferences and from Dr. Heath’s Feynman Prize in 2000. Other coverage: EE Times (credit John Faith), RSC.

Heath said:

“I don’t know if the world needs memory like this. I do know if you can manufacture at these dimensions, it’s a fundamentally enabling capability.”

He certainly got that second part right. —Christine

5 Responses to “Ultra-dense memory device uses molecular nanotechnology”

  1. Martin G. Smith Says:

    ‘I don’t know if the world needs memory like this. I do know if you can manufacture at these dimensions, it’s a fundamentally enabling capability.’ James Heath makes the point of what I suggest exploration should be all about.
    Build it, figure out if works and if it has a use [Right Now]. If it does not, use the knowledge to advance the field as a whole.

  2. Raymond Muse Says:

    From my understading and from what Ive heard, nanotechnology are tiny machines able to re pr……..
    wel you get the picture,please have a way of safety that preserve human life and are harmless. i know I cant tell you youre Job but even with all the hype, there are unforseen dangers to us, and we need to establish protocal.
    I am proud of the use of nanos, Let ‘s just stay ten steps ahead of the little buggers.

    Hope i havent offended any one,if i have please for give us. thank ypou for your;e time and CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  3. Hank Says:

    Hey Christine, the great thing about the field is that something new is happening every day. Heck, last night my local ( Sacramento ) news station had a feature on nanotech.

    By the way, if you’re looking to expand your audience a little we are just going into beta with a community science site. We are going to have world-famous scientists, science writers, journalists, etc. all in one location.

    Like here you would have your own customized column but we’re providing a built-in audience for you.

    If you want, create an account and copy and paste a few articles over there and see what kind of response you get.

  4. marc manspeaker Says:

    I think this technology is highly valuable and marketable. I would be interested in using this to preform personal wealth and creativity. This could be implanted into my body and still leave me with the freedom and independence and personal identity of Self. I am interested and think this is a marketable product. The question is “will it be legal?” If not, can we use this technology anyway? Do we have to go through the legal processes to have this technology? I personally want this invention to work and produce. Let’s use this Worldwide. The other problem is the Religious problem. If my concept of “The Religion of Total Body Transplant” is a proven viable concept, then that will help on a Worldwide basis. Let’s work together on this and make it possible for as many people as possible.

    Marc Manspeaker

    2-02-07

  5. Mark23 Says:

    According to me technology is changing everyday and size and capacity both are of equal importance

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