-Richard Feynman, 1959 APS meeting.
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A nanostructure is a device of of the order of a nanometer in
its smallest dimension. One nanometer is about a few atoms thick, or,
a hundred thousand times thinner than human hair.
Existing commercial devices, such as the Pentium Processors, contain
submicron structures, which are about 100 times larger than nanostructures
linearly, and about 10,000 times larger in area. We can
put more components that are much faster and more energy efficient in a device of
the same size.
Quantum mechanical effects become dominant at the this scale, thus giving
us a chance to study new and exciting physics. However, this also
means we don't know enough to take the full advantage of the new effects; and
these new effects will work against us until we understand them.
As we shink a device, the technical difficulty of fabrication increases,
making the process less reliable. What's worst, since we also want to put
more components in the same device, the probability of getting a fault
component in a device increases dramatically. These are experimental and technical
These are all happening now :
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Last update : 27th May, 1998.
Copyright © 1995-1998 Tat Sang Choy