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Researchers Count on Buckyballs to Create Tiny 'Abacus' for Processing

Photonics Spectra
Dec 1996
Scientists at IBM Zurich in Switzerland have used a scanning tunneling microscope probe to reposition C-60 molecules, or "buckyballs," on a copper substrate, producing a room-temperature device that can store and manipulate numbers at a single molecule level. The molecules act as the counters of a tiny abacus, in which mono-atomic terraces in the copper surface force the buckyballs to move in a straight line. Researchers believe that hundreds of buckyball ranks could fit inside the same line width that characterizes features on a Pentium processor chip.


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