Quantum-scaled nano-cables. Pretty nifty, no doubt whatsoever.
But until someone figures out how to make a molecular plug, socket, or screwdriver, the applications are somewhat murky. Enough silliness, onto the proper science news:
Classical Behavior Observed in the Quantum Realm:
As circuits for electronic devices get smaller and smaller, their resistivity usually increases and it becomes more difficult for an electrical charge to travel through them. However, researchers have now designed nano-wires — just one atom tall and four atoms wide — that carry a charge just as well as thick copper wires do, even at low temperatures. Their discovery is surprising since most experts have believed that quantum effects would limit the scaling-down of electronic devices as they approach the nano-scale.
But, Bent Weber and colleagues made their nano-wires by depositing phosphorus atoms, just one nanometer apart from each other, onto a silicon surface with the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope.
Their resulting nano-wires ranged from 1.5 to 11 nanometers thick yet they maintained the current-carrying capabilities of copper, demonstrating that their bulk properties could be conserved all the way down to the atomic scale. According to the researchers, this classical behavior in the quantum realm suggests that several new generations of smaller electronic devices may still be possible. A Perspective by David Ferry explains these findings along with their implications in greater detail.
SOurce: Article #8: "Ohm’s Law Survives to the Atomic Scale," by B. Weber; S. Mahapatra; A. Fuhrer; T.C.G. Reusch; D. L. Thompson; W.C.T. Lee; M.Y. Simmons at University of New South Wales in Sydney, NSW, Australia; H. Ryu; S. Lee; G. Klimeck at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN; L.C.L. Hollenberg at University of Melbourne in Parkville, VIC, Australia; A. Fuhrer at IBM Research–Zurich in Rüschlikon, Switzerland.