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Next-generation nanoelectronics: A decade of progress, coming advances



May 03, 2012 – Comments (0)

Good article, but I especially liked this section in the middle. As I have said before, materials science research has always preceded and accompanied major technological booms. The current reserach into graphene and carbon nanotubes will spawn a whole new set of companies (and likely industries) in a decade or so.


Next-generation nanoelectronics: A decade of progress, coming advances
May 3, 2012

...In an effort to sustain the advance of these devices while curbing power consumption, diverse research communities are looking for hybrid or alternative technologies. Nanoelectromechanical (NEM) switch technology is one option that shows great promise.

"NEM switches consist of a nanostructure (such as a carbon nanotube or nanowire) that deflects mechanically under electrostatic forces to make or break contact with an electrode," said Horacio Espinosa, James N. and Nancy J. Farley Professor in Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship at the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University.

NEM switches, which can be designed to function like a silicon transistor, could be used either in standalone or hybrid NEM-silicon devices. They offer both ultra-low power consumption and a strong tolerance of high temperatures and radiation exposure.

Given their potential, the past decade has seen significant attention to the development of both hybrid and standalone NEM devices. This decade of progress is reviewed by Espinosa's group in the current issue of journal Nature Nanotechnology. Their review provides a comprehensive discussion of the potential of these technologies, as well as the primary challenges associated with adopting them....

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