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Sunday, March 31, 2019

#402 Microtechnology, nanotechnology... quantum technology

Some of us are not only experiencing current era of nanotechnology (1 nm = 10-9 m) from its onset, but also remember times when microtechnology (1 µm = 10-6 m) was a buzz-term in science and engineering.


If the size related trends in technology evolution were to continue, then picotechnology (1 picometer or pm = 10-12 m) should be their continuation. Let's keep in mind, however,  that the average atom is sized at some 20000 picometers. Thus, the very concept of matter manipulation at the picometer level is beyond the realm of the current understanding of how the world around us works. So, picotechnology understood as a size-based continuation of nanotechnology is not going to happen, at least not in the foreseeable future.


Instead, we are in the process of parting ways with geometrical associations and start using nature of atomic-level physical phenomena related to quantum confinement as a reference. When the size of the piece of the solid is reduced to some 10 nm or below, laws of classical physics (with which we are so comfortable!) are no longer adequately describing properties of this solid and quantum physics (which is escaping our  imagination and intuition) is taking over. At this point the term nanotechnology is no longer adequately describing technological status quo and the term quantum technology is becoming a buzz-term in science and engineering.

Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 05:05 PM | Semiconductors | Link is the personal blog of Jerzy Ruzyllo. With over 35 years of experience in academic research and teaching in the area of semiconductor engineering (currently holding position of a Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State University), he has a unique perspective on the developments in this progress driving technical domain and enjoys blogging about it.

With over 2000 terms defined and explained, Semiconductor Glossary is the most complete reference in the field of semiconductors on the market today.

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