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January 26th, 2005
Researchers from the Japanese National Institute for Materials Science have given an old technology -- the mechanical electric switch -- a quantum update.
The researchers have devised a nanoscale mechanical switch that works by rapidly creating and destroying a minuscule metal bridge between a pair of wires positioned just one nanometer apart.
The researchers' device, dubbed the quantized conductance atomic switch, could one day be used to form electronic circuits and memory devices, and could be manufactured on silicon computer chips, said Hasegawa.
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