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Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Lara, Jul 21, 2003.

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  1. Lara

    Lara Guest

    Nanotechnology seems to be the next revolution in electronics.
    Will this mean the BJT, FET etc will go the way of the vacuum tube
    and we will have to learn about new devices all over again.
    Or will BJT's FETs opamps etc be still in use?
  2. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    Hard to guess. Consider that vacuum tubes are the original
    electronics device and they are still in use, just not very wide
    use. But then again, tunnel diodes and unijunction transistors
    are essentially extinct. It probably depends on the relative
    strengths and weaknesses of the technologies for any
    given niche. Perhaps nanotech won't be very good at power
    handling, fo instance, so the present devices will still handle
    that role.

    Or perhaps nanotech will never take off at all, like bubble memories
    and a host of other sure-fire winners.

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
    Shareware from Interstellar Research
  3. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    It kind of depends.
    Nanotechnology is a very wide field, encompassing everything
    from traditional wet chemistry that could easily have been done
    in the 1800s, that produces nanometer scale devices.
    To 'mature nanotechnology', which is taken by many people to mean robots
    and computers constructed on the nanometer scale, that can do essentially
    anything biological cells can, but with lots more flexibility, and
    fewer limits as to materials.

    On the one hand, this is stuff that is currently in face creams, on
    the other, it's stuff that could, with the appropriate programming,
    turn you into a gorrilla, give you extra arms, ...

    It looks likely that at some point in the future, the second one will
    come about.
    The exact way we wil get from the first to the second is somewhat

    For the second one, electronics as we know it is totally subsumed
    in the whole of nanotechnology.
  4. John Jardine

    John Jardine Guest

    Just the same as when I.C,s started out, except even smaller. We'll make use
    of the bits as *part* of a product but will be able to pack even more
    complexity into the same space.
  5. David Harmon

    David Harmon Guest

    You will have to learn a few new things, but you should not forget what
    you learned before. Everything you learned about vacuum tubes is still
    useful when designing with FETs (a vacuum tube is just a hollow-state
    FET with a heater.)
  6. Dwayne

    Dwayne Guest

    It's just a new niche. Only time will tell whether it stay that way or

  7. Marc H.Popek

    Marc H.Popek Guest

    There is a small chance things will shrink for EE devices. Smaller is
    better in electronics and>>>> W HAT <<<<<<

    your entry please :)

  8. news

    news Guest

    Nanotechnology in recent times c1995 has changed with the recent discovery
    that the carbon molecule can be reconstructed after destroying it with high
    powered lasers.
    Once you have what is essentially carbon ash, you can reconstitute it to a
    new basic shape. This is the Bucky ball, a football shaped set of molecules
    assembled by adding hydrochloride acid to the ashes of carbon and allowing
    it to form into crystals. The Buckmiesterflourine as is sometimes also
    called has many useful and exciting possibilities. Thousands of patents have
    been filed on variation / creations of this stuff. Some combinations of the
    Carbon molecule with 'a difference' include Superconductors that when
    combined with Potassium form a no resistance material. mmm ...what
    Truly this discovery has the makings of Future Tech-fi stuff. Warp core and
    The Molecules can even be assembled into any shape or combined to do other
    spiffing things.
    My favorite scenario is that of the ultimate recycling world, basically
    what we do at the moment by incinerating our rubbish only at much higher
    temperatures and then the waste is reconstituted to form Raw Bucky Balls
    material for re-use. mmm...many benefits.
    Strange thing that this technology could replace our dependency on Fossil
    fuels and that Exxon played a big part in its discovery as well.

    Another discovery was made by scientists that when using the tunnelling
    electron microscope, the atoms being examined could also be moved around.
    From basic spelling tricks to building atom sized machinery that can do just
    about anything any machine can. This is where the component level will go
    and a new range of devices will be born...hoorah!


  9. Chris1

    Chris1 Guest

    Carbon ash is Carbon Dioxide.
    Soccer ball? :)
    Very doubtful.

  10. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Having cleaned out most available silly and greedy investors with
    dot-com scams, the VCs are hoping there's still a little savings left
    to scoop, so they're promoting nanotech, whatever that means. By the
    general definition, man-made structures below 100 nm in size, VLSI
    chips are already nanotech.

  11. Ben Bradley

    Ben Bradley Guest

    It won't be just an electronics revolution, it will be The Next
    Revolution, when-and-if it actually happens. It certainly COULD
    happen, though it may take many more years/decades before we read
    anything other than research advances. It's been many years since a
    few atoms were arranges on a surface to say "IBM."
    If you asked experts 20 or 40 years ago, the vast majority of
    electric power was supposed to be generated by controlled fusion by
    the 21st Century. There has been lots of research on it, and steady
    but slow progress, but it's still not commercially viable. I recall
    reading about Josephson junctions, bubble memories that someone
    mentioned (hey, there were actual bubble memory products, if you
    didn't blink), and many other technologies that for one reason or
    another didn't (at least yet) pan out. Nanotechnology might end up
    taking a similarly long development path before it ends up in
    commercial products.
    These will still be in use, at least for a while after
    nanotechnology appears. I suspect that analog electronics won't be
    quickly or directly replaced by analog nanoelectronics. It will most
    likely be used to make digital circuits, since that's where a huge
    number of very small, low-powered devices is most desired. While it
    may be possible to make nano-analog parts (perhaps as enhancements of
    'perfect' transistor devices such as National's LM394), I think it
    more likely that many analog devices will eventually be replaced by
    nano-digital circuits made of high-resolution, high-speed A/D's, DSP's
    and D/A's. Nanoelectronic chips will surely interface directly to
    standard electronics, at least to begin with.
    This is fun stuff to speculate on, but I don't think you'll have to
    worry about having to learn these 'new, special parts' for a while.
    [now that I say that, no doubt IBM will announce 'grey goo' growing
    out of their labs' HVAC exhaust ducts next week]

    Here are a couple of online books on nanotechnology (also available
    in bookstores) by K. Eric Drexler, a strong proponent. I've read the
    first [actually had the book for years, but only read it recently,
    prompted by Crichton's "Prey"), and am in the middle of the second
    one. There's a description of computers made of nano-MECHANICAL parts,
    running at about a million operations per second, but nanotechnology
    easily offers several orders of magnitude faster operation for
    electronic rather than mechanical devices. Current IC digital
    technology is obviously into the Gigahertz range, and there's every
    reason to think nanoelectronics will be substantially faster.
  12. Dwayne

    Dwayne Guest

    It's just Hype.
    ya right -> Crackpots.

  13. mike

    mike Guest

    I think nanotechnology will do serious damage to our health before
    we realize it.
    My (mis)understanding is that mad cow disease is a simple self-assembly
    of long mollecular chains. They just keep getting longer until they
    burst the host cell and you die. Thousands of mad scientists trying to
    make self-assembling stuff scares the hell out of me...

    Bunch of stuff For Sale and Wanted at the link below.
    400cc Dirt Bike 2003 miles $495
    Police Scanner, Color LCD overhead projector
    Tek 2465 $800, ham radio, 30pS pulser
    Tektronix Concept Books, spot welding head...
  14. Ben Bradley

    Ben Bradley Guest

    It's not the size as much as it is going from a different
    direction. As you say, current chips are made smaller and smaller by
    photoreduction (currently using x-rays instead of visible light, IIRC,
    to get better resolution with the smaller wavelength of x-rays), and
    current signal 'traces' on chips are as small as a few hundred atoms
    wide. But it's still similar (in the grossest sense, of course) to
    making photo-etched printed circuit boards. IC's with features under
    100nanometers are legitimately called nanotechnolology, but that's not
    what I'm talking about, and I don't think that's what the original
    poster was asking about.
    The nanoelectronics/nanotechnology I'm thinking of is called
    "molecular nanotechnology" by Drexler. It is the building of devices
    by moving one atom at a time to create custom molecules, and devices
    and systems out of those atoms and molecules. If you doubt the
    possibilities of this, some of this has been done. The first scanning
    tunneling microscope (STM), which can image atoms on the surface of a
    solid, was built over two decades ago. Shortly after, an STM was used
    to move atoms one by one to put them in exact desired positions. See
    Figure 5 at this link:
    I recall first seeing that image in Scientific American when it was
    new, and there was an earlier SA article on the scanning tunneling

    Drexler makes the point of distinguishing the word nanotechnology
    here, in the fifth paragraph under "Technologies Revisited":
    "(Be cautious of other usages, though—some researchers have begun to
    use the nano- prefix to refer to other small-scale technologies in the
    laboratory today. In this book nanotechnology means the precise,
    molecular nanotechnology of the future. British usage also applies the
    term to the small-scale and high precision technologies of today—even
    to precision grinding and measurement. The latter are useful, but
    hardly revolutionary.)"

    You can even buy an STM and play with this stuff yourself - here is
    the website of a manufacturer of STM's:

    There are no prices listed, though, and I suspect they're not
  15. ddwyer

    ddwyer Guest

    As with all new buzz words the reality is a means of getting research
    money out of technically ignorant accountants.
    Some nono structures will be useful, many more intermediate slightly
    bigger MEMS structures will have greater impact.
    In electronics devices nano structures have quantum implications, (bad )
    , very small things wont work like bigger ones (good) sometimes to
    advantage like the nano filaments that give 50% optical efficiency.
  16. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    Cells exist.
    Unless God decides to change the rules, and forbid it, there is no
    physical reason why you can't create objects that can do at least what
    cells can.
    It's just a simple matter of engineering.
    There is also good reason to believe that you'd be able to sidestep
    quite a few of the limitations of cells, if you don't have to evolve them.

    This doesn't of course say that it will happen in 50 years, or 500.
  17. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    Irony: Of or related to iron.

    -- | mailto: | Ian Stirling.
    "I meant, have you ploughed the ocean waves at all?" Colon gave him a cunning
    look. 'Ah, you can't catch me with that one, sir' he said 'Everyone knows
    horses sink' -- Terry Pratchett - Jingo
  18. Fred Abse

    Fred Abse Guest

    No, that's a blasphurnace :)
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