http://bit.ly/8K0gmk outlines a new kind of molecular transistor. The scientists from Yale and South Korea who made it are excited but think it is a long way from market because only about 35% of the ones they make actually work. I think they are mistaken in their pessimism. I don’t think that matters as much as they think.
Firstly, carbon is an excellent conductor of heat. If some of them don’t work, they will still help to conduct heat away. Carbon is cheap, so material cost isn’t a problem.
Secondly, since the devices are so small, and we know that carbon lends itself well to layering, then 3d electronic structures could be designed, and the many layers possible will quickly outweigh the disadvantages of poor reliability.
Thirdly, we are moving into a new ear of electronics. The drawing board has been smashed and innovative new practices are being considered. Importantly, old ones that didn’t work before will be resurrected to see if they will work now with the new situation. I expect to see a resurgence of evolving electronics, reconfigurable electronics, and analog processing techniques, used with self organisation algorithms. This could allow 3d materials that contain transistors to be connected together in experimental circuits, reconfigured rapidly until the circuit works. Reliability is unnecessary in such a system.
So I congratulate the scientists involved, but think that their invention will be much more useful, much earlier than they expect. Good luck to them.