Robert Wolkow is one of the most known names in terms of ultra-fast and ultra-small devices. His team recently coordinated with Max Plank Institute in Hamburg and shared their findings that explain how can one create atomic switches for electric matters which are at times smaller than the ones that are being used for now. These new switches will have ample applications in practical frameworks like the ones including silicon based semiconductor electronics. In crux, it would encourage the culture of more efficient, smaller, and better energy-conserving computers.
Wolkow explains, “This is the first time anyone’s seen a switching of a single-atom channel. You’ve heard of a transistor—a switch for electricity—well, our switches are almost a hundred times smaller than the smallest on the market today.” Currently, he is working as Principal Research Officer at the Canada’s National Institute for Nanotechnology and a physics professor at the University of Alberta. The smallest available transistors these days operate at a level of 14 nanometer and still designate thousands of atoms.Wolkow’s team brought down this number to just a few atoms. Computers are nothing but a set of interconnected on/off switch systems. So, you can believe making of more efficient system once these switches are in use.
As a team member further explains, “We’re using this technology to make ultra-green, energy-conserving general purpose computers but also to further the development of quantum computers. We are building the most energy conserving electronics ever, consuming about a thousand times less power than today’s electronics.” Though it a small development, this application will have larger implications over environmental, economic, and societal aspects of this world. Electronics, these days, are known for consuming a large part of electricity. Energy conservation is essential because energy footprint of digital economies is increasing day by day. These switches will definitely give a breakthrough in this new direction.
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