IBM Using DNA to Create Semiconductors Below 22nm
Microprocessors using DNA construction are ten years away
The breakthrough uses DNA, the building blocks of the human body, as the starting point for microprocessors built at under 22nm size. The semiconductor industry is facing significant hurdles in developing lithographic construction processes for under 22nm construction. Research is also being done into incorporating carbon nanotubes or silicon nanowires into construction processes.
The smaller a semiconductor can be built, the cheaper the parts are to produce as well because more can be made on a single wafer.
Researchers at IBM have made a breakthrough that involves using DNA molecules as a scaffolding to build semiconductors. The so-called DNA origami structures are compatible with lithographic processes used in construction today. The DNA scaffolding approach allows IBM to place millions of carbon nanotubes that self assemble precisely into patterns by sticking to the DNA molecules.