A team of Japanese researchers at the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba have designed a parallel processor that mirrors neurons in the human brain using organic molecules.
The organic processor uses a ring-like molecule called 2,3-dichloro-5,6-dicyano-p-benzoquinone, or DDQ.
The circular DDQ molecule can exist in four different conducting states and is from one state to the other by hitting it with varying voltages using the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope. By placing two or more molecules next to each other they can be connected — the team was able to connect 300 DDQ molecules as a single layer on a gold substrate, making one massively parallel computing infrastructure with only a single layer of organic molecules.
Various concepts of a wireless molecular circuit: In panel a) you see the DDQ molecule that the researchers used. The next panels show the molecule in its various states and configured as organic circuits.
Anirban Bandyopadhyay, a scientist from the National Institute for Materials Science, says that “generalization of this principle would change the existing concept of static circuit-based electronics and open up a new vista of emergent computing.”