DNA could become building blocks of smaller, more powerful microchips…Posted: August 18, 2009
Scientists are using DNA — the building blocks of life — to make the next generation of smaller, more powerful microchips.
Researchers at IBM are looking at ways to create artificial DNA nanostructures to provide frameworks on which to build tiny electric circuits. Microchips are used in computers, mobile phones and a broad range of electronic devices and, as chipmakers compete to develop ever-smaller chips at cheaper prices, designers are struggling to cut costs.
IBM said that the revolutionary method, developed at its Almaden Research Centre in California and the California Institute of Technology, could help it to make computer chips from the molecule up by arranging DNA structures on the surface of manufactured semiconductor material. These structures act as scaffolding for the precise assembly of components such as carbon nanotubes, nanowires and nanoparticles into circuit boards at dimensions significantly smaller than previously possible.
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