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By Will Peeden. Nanotechnology. Topics to be covered. What is nanotechnology? Storing data in atoms Using molecules for switches Benefits Challenges Ahead Recap My Thoughts Questions?. What is nanotechnology?.

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topics to be covered
Topics to be covered
  • What is nanotechnology?
  • Storing data in atoms
  • Using molecules for switches
  • Benefits
  • Challenges Ahead
  • Recap
  • My Thoughts
  • Questions?
what is nanotechnology
What is nanotechnology?
  • The control of matter in scales smaller than 1 micrometer, normally 1 to 100 nanometers, and the development of devices within that size range.
  • Nanotechnology is multidisciplinary field drawing from mathematics, physics, chemistry, and more.
why we should be interested
Why we should be interested?
  • Computers and components have continued to shrink in size while increasing speed and efficiency, but they will eventually reach their limit.
  • Wires built from silicon tend to leak more electricity the smaller they are, and will eventually reach a limit where they are no longer useful.
  • Nanotechnology could be the next step in making computers much smaller and faster.
storing data in single atoms
Storing data in single atoms
  • IBM researchers probed a property of atoms called magnetic anisotropy. This property measures an atom’s ability to store information.
  • Anisotropy determines whether or not a magnet can maintain a specific orientation. This in turn allows the magnet to represent either a “1” or “0”.
  • This is the first step toward possibly building structures consisting of small clusters of atoms, or even individual atoms, that could reliably store information.
storage data capacity
Storage Data Capacity
  • Storing data in atoms could lead to being able to store amazing amounts of data into small clusters of atoms.
  • “If we could achieve that, it would increase our storage density by about a factor of 1000 over what is commercially available in hard drives today,” IBM researcher Hirjibehedin said.
  • Such a storage capability would enable nearly 30,000 feature length movies or the entire contents of YouTube to fit in a device the size of an iPod.
using molecules as a switch
Using molecules as a switch
  • IBM researchers unveiled the first single-molecule switch that can operate flawlessly without disrupting the molecule's outer frame.
  • IBM researchers were able to switch a single molecule “on” and “off,” using two hydrogen atoms within a molecule.
  • Byinducing a voltage pulse through molecule the two hydrogen atoms in the molecule changed position and electrically switch the entire molecule from “on” to “off”.
Switching process that involves the two hydrogen atoms located in the center of the molecule. Upon injection of a voltage pulse, the two hydrogen atoms change position.
“Logic gate" of two molecules which are probed by the tip of the low-temperature scanning tunnel microscope.
  • Smaller switches allow the circuits to be shrunk to ever smaller sizes, making it possible to pack more circuits into a processor that could be the size of a speck of dust.
  • Significant improvements in speed and energy costs of devices.
  • Electronics of all sorts could be made smaller and faster as well.
challenges ahead
Challenges Ahead
  • Research must be done to determine if building structures consisting of small clusters of atoms, or even individual atoms, can reliably store information.
  • Technology must be developed that will allow chips made of clusters of atoms to communicate with other computer components such as I/O devices.
  • IBM discovered how to measure magnetic anisotropy. Key to storing information.
  • They also found a way make a single molecule act like a switch. Key to building computer components at the molecular level.
  • Will lead to large improvements in speed and storage capacity.
  • It’s a very new technology and much research still needs to be done.
my thoughts
My Thoughts
  • This research is a recent breakthrough and it will be at least 5-10 years before we see anything like this in our computers.
  • Could prove to be one of the biggest technological improvements we’ve seen for computers.