UCLA researchers have developed microscopic switches using the catenane molecule which consists of two interlocked rings made up of atoms linked in a circle. An electrical charge will remove one electron, flipping a ring and turning the switch on. The switch can be turned off by reversing the process, which can be repeated indefinitely even at room temperature. A scientist working on the project said that a computer made up of such switches would be a “million times more efficient” but admits that the problem of wiring the switches must be solved before the technology becomes usable.
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