Symantic Implications for Nanotechnology

In the last few years, Eigler’s group has built on his work and constructed custom molecules using the STM. They have also constructed and operated an electrical switch whose only moving part is a single atom.

In the “If you can read this, you are too close” image, the letters are just 1 nanometer wide and 1 nanometer tall.

A measure of the impact of this work is in the number of experiments and technical papers today that use atom manipulation as one of their primary scientific tools, says Eigler…

“If you think about it, this is not a manufacturing capability but a powerful technique in the laboratory,” he says. “It lets us do those experiments that give us the knowledge that we would not get otherwise.

“What’s really exciting to watch is that with every passing week, month or year we end up with new discoveries due to our abilities to work with very small structures,” says Eigler. “It’s fair to anticipate that these will have a technological impact on people’s lives very soon.”

These words were created by laying carbon monoxide molecules on a flat copper surface.