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Science Forum

  1. 21 Jun '13 21:31 / 3 edits
    http://phys.org/news/2013-06-harnessing-potential-quantum-tunneling-transistors.html

    I don't think this shows the future for microelectronics because the future is spintronics (or, less likely I think but, just possibly, plasmonics) but, still, quite interesting.

    The latest news for microelectronic plasmonic research seems to be:
    http://phys.org/news/2013-06-ferroelectric-graphene-based.html

    That just might indicate the future but I still think it is spintronics and not plasmonics that will probably be the one that will eventually pan-out due to the extraordinary potential for huge energy efficiency and virtually no power consumption that spintronics could give.
  2. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    21 Jun '13 22:51
    Originally posted by humy
    http://phys.org/news/2013-06-harnessing-potential-quantum-tunneling-transistors.html

    I don't think this shows the future for microelectronics because the future is spintronics (or, less likely I think but, just possibly, plasmonics) but, still, quite interesting.

    The latest news for microelectronic plasmonic research seems to be:
    http://phys.org/news/201 ...[text shortened]... tial for huge energy efficiency and virtually no power consumption that spintronics could give.
    That's the one with the gold nanobits. I wonder how they actually do that, get the gold equally spaced on the nanotube?
  3. 22 Jun '13 07:31 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    That's the one with the gold nanobits. I wonder how they actually do that, get the gold equally spaced on the nanotube?
    not sure, but it must have been tricky either way.
    The diagram at the start of
    http://phys.org/news/2013-06-harnessing-potential-quantum-tunneling-transistors.html
    certainly appears to show the gold atoms nicely neatly equally spaced but I am guessing that that doesn't necessarily mean they actually were in physical reality.

    If cost effective microelectronics are to get out the lab and into the real world, I guess they must avoid using expensive rare chemical elements such a Gold.
    I assume cheaper alternatives can be adapted for it.
  4. 22 Jun '13 15:01
    Originally posted by humy
    If cost effective microelectronics are to get out the lab and into the real world, I guess they must avoid using expensive rare chemical elements such a Gold.
    I assume cheaper alternatives can be adapted for it.
    I believe gold is used for many things including some computer parts. Do you know to what extent it affects the price of the parts? ie if a CPU costs USD 500 how much of that is the cost of gold used in it?
    I am just thinking that the manufacturing costs might dwarf the materials cost (just as silicon wafers cost a lot more than sand).
  5. 22 Jun '13 16:26 / 5 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I believe gold is used for many things including some computer parts. Do you know to what extent it affects the price of the parts? ie if a CPU costs USD 500 how much of that is the cost of gold used in it?
    I am just thinking that the manufacturing costs might dwarf the materials cost (just as silicon wafers cost a lot more than sand).
    I am afraid I don't know the answer to that.
    I might be wrong but, I cannot help but think that if ALL future microelectronics contain, say, a lot of gold, Then given the fact that I am sure other advances in technology in the future would eventually dramatically reduce manufacturing costs, this would make up the main component of its cost. This is what my intuition on this tells me but I admit I cannot back that up with hard facts and maths.

    I also think spintronics is the future for virtually all microelectronics but at least I CAN back that up with some pretty significant hard facts. Note I think it very unlikely that future spintronics would either require or contain gold!
  6. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    25 Jun '13 19:28
    The key is not that it contains gold but exactly how much. At prices north of 1500 bucks an ounce, it is a real cost to be considered but in the nano world, you have exact amounts of the stuff counted in individual nano particles which might be only a few dozen gold atoms clumped together so the actual mass of gold would be spread out over millions of these nano tubes so it would probably not be a game stopper if it had to use gold and nothing else would do. My guess is some other metal would work fine for the same job but that is to be determined. Suppose they found out the very best nano transistor has to be made with U238 atoms, what then?
  7. 25 Jun '13 21:22 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    The key is not that it contains gold but exactly how much. At prices north of 1500 bucks an ounce, it is a real cost to be considered but in the nano world, you have exact amounts of the stuff counted in individual nano particles which might be only a few dozen gold atoms clumped together so the actual mass of gold would be spread out over millions of these ...[text shortened]... Suppose they found out the very best nano transistor has to be made with U238 atoms, what then?
    Suppose they found out the very best nano transistor has to be made with U238 atoms, what then?

    then I think we might have a problem because U238 is radioactive and thus a atom of it in a nano transistor would occasionally break down and, if the position of that atom is of critical importance for the functioning of the nano transistor, its break down, along with the unwanted contaminants it breaks down to, may cause the whole nano transistor to fail.
    I agree with what you say -it is how much of a rare chemical element that is important here. But, if such a rare element is to be used in acceptable very small amounts in microelectronics, I think it should at least be a non-radioactive one. Although, of course, I rather hope that no rare elements, at least not rarer that lithium, would be needed to make the microelectronics at or, if not at, close to the optimum design.
  8. 26 Jun '13 06:43
    An interesting website:

    http://www.chipsetc.com/gold-value-in-computer-chips.html
    Gold refining yields of the Pentium Pro have been reported to be as high as around one gram per CPU.


    I believe 1 gold ounce [troy] is 31 gramms.
    So at USD 1500 per gram thats USD 48 worth of Gold.

    Can someone check my calculations because I must be doing something wrong, because I can buy a pentium dual core for about double that. Is gold really such a significant part of the price?