Future computers that modify themselves

Nanoparticles with oppositely charged surfaces

Image credit: Hideyuki Nakanishi et al./Nature Nanotechnology

By Megan Fellman

Scientists at Northwestern University have developed a new nanomaterial that can “steer” electrical currents. The development could lead to a computer that can simply reconfigure its internal wiring to become an entirely different device, based on changing needs.

As electronic devices are built smaller and smaller, the materials from which the circuits are constructed begin to lose their properties and begin to be controlled by quantum mechanical phenomena. Reaching this physical barrier, many scientists have begun building 3-D circuits by stacking components on top of one another.



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