Orbitronics could keep silicon-based computing going after todays technology reaches its limits
For about 40 years, the semiconductor industry has been able to continually shrink the electronic components on silicon chips, packing ever more performance into computers. Now, fundamental physical limits to current technology have the industry scouring the research world for an alternative. In a paper published in the Aug. 1 online edition of Physical Review Letters (PRL), Stanford University physicists present orbitronics, an alternative to conventional electronics that could someday allow engineers to skirt a daunting limit while still using cheap, familiar silicon.
The miniaturization of the present-day chips is limited by power dissipation, says Shoucheng Zhang, a professor of physics, applied physics and, by courtesy, electrical engineering, who co-authored the PRL study. Up to 40 percent of the power in circuits is being lost in heat leakage, which he says will eventually make miniaturization a forbidding task.
Mark Shwartz | EurekAlert!
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A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
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For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
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Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
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