World’s Smallest Electronic Circuit Using Nanotechnology
Technology has been evolving time to time, from complex wired circuits to Integrated circuits(IC). Nowadays almost all electronic gadgets like smart phones, computers, global positioning systems(GPS), tablets and so on use Integrated circuits as they are more compact and efficient. In this era of nanotechnology, scientists are scaling every possible technology to nano scale without compromising its efficiency. Nano circuits were made by scaling Electronic circuits in the nano range, and that too, by rectifying the disadvantages of Integrated circuits like heat dissipation.
Recently a team of researchers headed by Guillaume Gervais of McGill’s Physics department and Mike Lilly from Sandia National Laboratories successfully developed one of the world’s smallest electronic circuits. It consisted of only two wires separated by a distance of 15 nanometers. The distance is so small that it counts up to only 150 atoms!!
On further studies, the researchers observed that a charge on one wire induces a charge on the other. This charge induced on the second wire may be positive or negative irrespective of the first wire. That is, the current flowing through both wires can be in the same or opposite direction. This experiment based on Quantum physics gave the researchers an idea about the behavior of electronic circuits in nano scale.
In case of nano circuits, heat dissipation is tremendously reduced. Although heat dissipation occurs, since the wires are very close, the heat dissipated by one will be absorbed by the other. In nano scale, electronic interactions between circuits become very complex, since a phenomenon called Coulomb drag occurs where current in one wire induces a voltage in the other wire by coulomb interactions alone. Nano circuits are economic if manufactured in large quantities.
The major institutions that funded this research were Natural science and Engineering research council of Canada, the Fonds de recherché Nature et technologies of Quebec, the Canadian Institute of advanced research and the center of Integrated Nanotechnologies at Sandia National laboratories.