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January 10th, 2007
Today we're talking with Don Eigler of IBM. Eigler and his colleagues are looking ahead to a time when silicon-based semiconductors hit a barrier - perhaps in the next 10 to 15 years - in terms of their usefulness in making computers that are ever-smaller, yet ever more powerful.
They're testing a new technology at the Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. It relies on nanotechnology, the ability to manipulate materials on the scale of atoms and molecules. Eigler and his colleagues engineered chains of carbon monoxide molecules on a surface of copper. They then moved just one molecule, which triggered a chain reaction. The molecules toppled like dominos, he said, in order to transmit information.
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