In this chapter:
- Where nature meets electronics
- Probing the current of modern life
The drive for ever-smaller, ever-powerful technologies
Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.
- Popular Mechanics, 1949
For decades, “thinking big” in electronics has meant the pursuit of smaller and smaller goals. Only a short while ago, for instance, the idea of a personal computer, phone, and wireless web wrapped into a handheld gadget would have sounded farfetched.
Further miniaturization attempts, however, are fast approaching hard-to-crack barriers - from problems faced in trying to crunch increasingly sophisticated circuitry onto limited physical surfaces to steeply escalating production costs.
Reluctant to accept the end to miniaturization, Weizmann scientists and their colleagues worldwide are stretching creativity to the brim. They’ve developed a new approach that builds information out of atoms, which may offer an alternative to silicon chip technologies, are working to integrate organic molecules into electronic circuitry as memory elements or transistor-like switches, and are exploring a range of other approaches - all designed to vault over the impending miniaturization deadline.