Nanoelectronics – Nanotechnology in electronics
This article explains the basics of Nanoelectronics and its concept. The different approaches are also explained in detail.
Nanoelectronics is based on the application of nanotechnology in the field of electronics and electronic components. Although the term Nanoelectronics may generally mean all the electronic components, special attention is given in the case of transistors. These transistors have a size lesser than 100 nanometres. Visibly, they are very small that separate studies have to be made for knowing the quantum mechanical properties and inter-atomic design. As a result, though the transistors appear in the nanometre range, they are designed through nanotechnology. Their design is also very much different from the traditional transistors and usually falls in the category of one-dimensional nanotubes/nanowires, hybrid molecular electronics, or advanced molecular electronics.
This technology is said to be the next future, but its practicality is near to impossible even now that they may be difficult to emerge soon.
Basic Concept of Nanoelectronics
Although a nanoelectronic device can be made fully functional, the work load it can do is restricted to its size. The basic principle is that the power of a machine will increase according to the increase in volume, but the amount of friction that the machine’s bearings hold will depend on the surface area of the machine.
For the small size of the nanoelectronic device cannot be used for the moving of heavy load like a mechanical device. If such a task is tried, it will fail as the available power will be easily overcome by the frictional forces. So, it is sure that these devices have limitations in real world applications.
Different Approaches to Nanoelectronics
This method is used to design arrays or layers of nanoelectronic device to work for a single operation. Nanoelectromechanical systems are also a part of nanofabrication.
- Nanomaterials electronics
In Nanoelectronics, the transistors are packed as arrays on to a single chip. Thus they remain in a uniform manner and symmetrical in nature. Thus they are known to have a more speedy movement of electrons in the material. The dielectric constant of the device also increases and the electron or hole characteristics also become symmetrical in nature.
Applications of Nanoelectronics
Some of the devices that have been developed with the help of Nanoelectronics and its future applications are listed below.
The conventional computers with a big processor will be replaced with Nanocomputers with nanoprocessors that will have higher performance and speed than the conventional computers. Researchers are performing various experiments on by using nanolithographic methods to design better nanoprocessors. Experiments are also taking place by replacing the CMOS components in conventional processors with nanowires. The FET’s in the computers are replaced by carbon nanotubes.
- Energy production
The devices using Nanoelectronics technology also includes solar cells that are highly efficient and cheaper than the conventional ones. If such efficient solar energy can be created it would be a revolution to the global energy needs.
Using the technology, researchers are developing a generator for energy production in vivo called bio-nano generators. Basically, the generator is an electrochemical device which is designed in nanoscale size. It works like a fuel cell which generates the power by absorbing the blood glucose in a living body. The glucose will be separated from the body with the help of an enzyme. This enzyme separates the glucose from the electrons and makes them useful for generating power.
The power generated through such a device will be only a few watts as the body itself needs some glucose for its normal functioning. This small power can be used to power up devices placed inside the body like pacemakers or sugar-fed nanorobots.