Thursday, June 22, 2006

US Patent 7064000 - Chemical Assembly of Molecular Circuit With Defect Mapping

Molecular crossbar array electronics is one of three leading platforms for nanoelectronic circuits that are likely to have a major impact in the next ten years (the other two being nanotube electronics and quantum electronics). Hewlett-Packard is the major player backing this technology and, while initial applications are in high density memory, there are already several patents on latches, logic circuits, multiplexers, and other devices formed using this technology. A primary advantage of this technology is not just that it is adaptable to nanoscale dimensions but that the circuits formed with this technology may be dynamically reconfigured. While conventional electronic processors may be reprogrammed via software, molecular crossbar arrays have the potential for the actual hardware to be altered so that one type of circuit can change or adapt to become another type of circuit (for example changing a signal filter into a pulse generator, changing an AND gate to an OR gate, etc.)

This patent comes from Carnegie Mellon University (funded by DARPA) and provides for defect mapping during the fabrication of molecular crossbar arrays. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for constructing a molecular nanoblock using chemically assembled electronic nanotechnology, comprising: forming an array of electrical wires on a substrate via a chemical self-assembly process; aligning the array of electrical wires; combining the array of electrical wires and forming a two dimensional grid-like structure; creating an active electronic device at an intersection point of two wires on the grid-like structure; and generating a defect map of the grid-like structure.