PerspectiveMOLECULAR ELECTRONICS

Bypassing the Transistor Paradigm

Science  02 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5471, pp. 1597-1599
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5471.1597

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Summary

Current computer technology is based on solid state transistors, in which binary information is carried by switching current between "on" and "off" states. When these devices are shrunk to the molecular scale, they run up against fundamental physical limits, most importantly regarding energy dissipation; as a result, superdense transistor devices would melt as soon as they were switched on. In this Perspective, Lent discusses the advantages of an alternative route to molecular electronics, quantum-dot cellular automata, which store binary information in a charge configuration instead of a current switch.

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