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Nat Nanotechnol. 2007 Jul;2(7):399-410. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2007.188.

Molecular logic and computing.

Author information

  • 1School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Queen's University, Belfast BT9 5AG, Northern Ireland. a.desilva@qub.ac.uk

Abstract

Molecular substrates can be viewed as computational devices that process physical or chemical 'inputs' to generate 'outputs' based on a set of logical operators. By recognizing this conceptual crossover between chemistry and computation, it can be argued that the success of life itself is founded on a much longer-term revolution in information handling when compared with the modern semiconductor computing industry. Many of the simpler logic operations can be identified within chemical reactions and phenomena, as well as being produced in specifically designed systems. Some degree of integration can also be arranged, leading, in some instances, to arithmetic processing. These molecular logic systems can also lend themselves to convenient reconfiguring. Their clearest application area is in the life sciences, where their small size is a distinct advantage over conventional semiconductor counterparts. Molecular logic designs aid chemical (especially intracellular) sensing, small object recognition and intelligent diagnostics.

PMID:
18654323
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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