Monday, August 25, 2008

US Patent 7414437 - Mechanical computer formed from nanoscale pillars

Nantero has started the ball rolling on nanoscale mechanical computers but others are also trying to develop similar devices. This patent from WARF discloses the formation of dual nanopillars to form electrical switches and connecting the electrical switches to form basic logic and computational structures. Claim 1 reads:

1. An electrical switching element comprising:

at least one first nanoscale pillar extending upward from a substrate between first opposed electrodes to flex between the first electrodes; and

at least one second nanoscale pillar extending upward from the substrate between second opposed electrodes, the second nanoscale pillar coupled to the first nanoscale pillar to flex with the first nanoscale pillar alternately toward and away from alternate second electrodes influenced by flexure of the first nanoscale pillar;

whereby flexure of the first nanoscale pillar promotes a charge transfer between the second opposed electrodes via the second nanoscale pillar.