Atomic discovery opens door to greener, faster, smaller electronic circuitry

Scientists find way to correct communication pathways in silicon chips, making them perfect. A key step in unlocking the potential for greener, faster, smaller electronic circuitry was taken recently by a group of researchers led by UAlberta physicist Robert Wolkow. The research team found a way to delete and replace out-of-place atoms that had been preventing new revolutionary circuitry designs from working. This unleashes a new kind of silicon chips for use in common electronic products, such as our phones and computers. “For the first time, we can unleash the powerful properties inherent to the atomic scale,” explained Wolkow, noting that printing errors on silicon chips are inevitable when working at the atomic scale. “We were making things that were close to perfect but not quite there. Now that we have the ability to make corrections, we can ensure perfect patterns, and that makes the circuits work. It is this new ability to edit at the atom scale that makes all the difference.””