Here we go again with the “better, cheaper, denser” line of reasoning about memory chips. Yet another group of scientists has announced the next best thing in this field. In this case, it’s a group made up of American and Italian researchers, and their MO is quantum dots.
Specifically, the scientists have grafted viruses onto those microscopic semiconductors, creating a chain reaction that results in a nanoscale device that can store digital information. The virus being used is the CPMV, a plant virus that is no danger to people but that comes in very handy in this sort of construction.
A layer of polymers sits in between a pair of electrodes and, when prompted by an electric field, transfers a charge from the virus to the nanoparticle. The whole mechanism stores that charge, and that makes possible the data storage that today’s computer makers so desperately seek. It’s a data-storing machine on the nanolevel, made of a combination of organic and inorganic material.