A team of European researchers has developed a computer circuit that that can build itself, reports Nature News.
A team of physicists led by Dago de Leeuw, a researcher at Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, has developed an integrated circuit that can grow by itself. The scientists attached quinquethiophene, an organic molecule, to a long carbon chain with a silicon group at the end. They later immersed the circuit board with electrodes into a solution of their new molecules.
Hagen Klauk, an electrical engineer at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany said that even though the new technique was impressive, it still needed improvement. He said that the technique would not offer higher performance.
Figuring out a way to develop self-assembling electrodes would be the next step, said de Leeuw. He added that the group's circuits may be used to develop sensors for airborne material, such as pathogens or dangerous chemicals. This is because the bridge of molecules is very thin, making it highly sensitive to passing particles.
According to de Leeuw, a truly self-assembling computer may be a long time away as physicists would need to get insulators, conducting electrodes and semiconductor transistors to link to each other automatically. X