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The Molecular Device Computer: Point Of Departure For Large Scale Cellular Automata

F. Carter
Published 1984 · Mathematics

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Abstract Switching is possible at the molecular size level because of the conformational changes that occur. Three of the most promising switching mechanisms include electron tunnelling in short periodic arrays, soliton switching and soliton valving. Assuming a 3-d architecture and molecular dimensions, memory and switching elements with densities of 10 15 to 10 18 elements per cc are possible. The active elements are connected together conceptionally with “molecular wires” like polysulfur nitride (SN) x and polyacetylene (CH) x . Simple cellular automata involving soliton propagation in conjugated systems would include soliton valves and cyclic configurations of valves. In the latter, soliton propagations becomes isomorphous with group operations giving rise to possible non-binary finite-state machines. The development of a molecular electron device (MED) synthetic capability in combination with the above devices would suggest that large 3-d arrays of parallel processors will be possible with automata, biological, and crystallographic implications.
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