Friday, December 25, 2009

Single Molecule Turned Into a Functional Transistor [Transistors]


Since the first transistor was demonstrated 62 years ago, researchers have tried to make the device smaller and smaller. Now they've finally achieved an extreme point in their quest: A single-molecule transistor. Yes, that's really, really freakin' small.

Apparently this itty bitty transistor "has a benzene molecule attached to gold contacts" and "could behave just like a silicon transistor." This is an incredible achievement because of the potential applications in nanomachines since a few atoms would be enough to "perform complex calculations." What I wonder is how long it'll take for these molecular transistors to go from being demonstrated to being put into research use to being something we see in consumer electronics. How much smaller could some gadgets get? [Wired]