The Switch Made From a Single Molecule

Researchers have demonstrated a switch, analogous to a transistor, made from a single molecule called fullerene. By using a carefully tuned laser pulse, the researchers are able to use fullerene to switch the path of an incoming electron in a predictable way. This switching process can be three to six orders of magnitude faster than switches in microchips, depending on the laser pulses used. Fullerene switches in a network could produce a computer beyond what is possible with electronic transistors, and they could also lead to unprecedented levels of resolution in microscopic imaging devices.

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