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.