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Author: joelcorley Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 3856  
Subject: Re: IBM Nanotech news Date: 11/5/2012 11:49 PM
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rubberthinking,

You wrote, I can only allude in some sort of way to how nano tech is different than that of current silicon production.......and this is going to be sloppy and half arsed.....as there is no current manufacturing process for nano tech....just ideas rattling around.....

Nanotech has been accepted as anything fabricated at the nanometer scale. Current semiconductor processes are already doing that.

However, nanotech was originally envisioned to be based on a technology where molecular machines (think the size of viruses) assemble components at the molecular level, often one atom at a time. In fact, the concepts are based on biology where DNA replicates itself and RNA is used to express (assemble at need) special purpose proteins. In fact, biology is an example of functional nano technology. But the idea was to custom design special purpose molecular devices that lack all of the legacy baggage found in biological organisms that have evolved through hundreds of millions of years of evolution.

But we're not to that point yet. In fact, I think that type of research has been languishing. I imagine it has just required too big of an investment to get to some kind of general-purpose "assembler" design. I don't really know how or if any of that is progressing. I also imagine that if the idea is being constrained, it's probably because of the need to simulate the behavior of these molecular machines - an extremely compute-intensive task. No doubt fabricating the first ones will be expensive, since they can't be built by some self-assembling nanobot that doesn't yet exist.

You wrote, While I know next to nothing about barium.....bucky balls or C60 and others made of carbon have promise......but not to replace the current chip materials.....or do they? that is still a question in the works to some degree......would barium balls do a better job? That would be one question up for grabs......another is the properties of the barium for reducing transistor sizes......Can more be done in the future at lower costs depending on the number and size of transistors on chips than are currently possible with silicon? And that might lead to a finally question in my mind.....Can speeds of a barium chip be greater than that of a silicon chip and with less heat?

Unfortunately I'm not a chemist, physicist or an electrical engineer, so I don't really know all that much about the properties of these materials either. I do remember some of what I read about EE and process technologies back when I worked on EDA tools in the '90s and I can go take a look at the properties of some materials according to Wikipedia (and research their commercial availability through other sites); but that hardly qualifies me to speak as an expert on the electrical properties of these various materials. (OK, on a slow day I might amuse myself by trying to compare the properties of a couple of materials; but these questions are too broad for me to consider trying.)

On the other hand, I wouldn't mind hearing some opinions about these topics from others. Critiquing is part of the scientific process, so it would be nice if we had some readers here that could chime in. If we did, I could imagine this board could become quite an interesting read - especially if we got people discussing the advantages and disadvantages of newly proposed materials.

- Joel
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