Research results at IBM Labs hit art exhibition
Two images, obtained as a result of microcosm research carried out in the IBM laboratory, became part of an unusual exhibition that opened in one of the US museums.
By experimenting with materials that could become the basis for microcircuits in the future, IBM scientists create structures from individual atoms. To do this, they use a specialized microscope, for the invention of which two IBM employees were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986. Two images from the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) are on display at The Art of Invention. This exhibition has been prepared by The National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The exhibition opened at the USPTO Museum a few days ago and will run for a year. It includes about 70 artworks related to inventions, patents and trademarks.
Recall that in 1981, scientists Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer from the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory in Switzerland developed a powerful new microscopy technique capable of visualizing individual atoms on a metal or semiconductor surface. Later, they began to use STM to place individual atoms on the surface – an example is shown in the first illustration, where the IBM lettering is composed of xenon atoms.
The ability to manipulate atoms is admirable. IBM scientists are using STM to create circuit elements at the atomic and molecular level, trying to create a technology to radically – thousands of times – reduce the size of microcircuits. In turn, it can open the way to create computers and other electronics that will surpass modern designs in terms of compactness, power consumption and speed.
The works on display were completed in the early nineties. They depict the so-called “quantum coral” – 48 iron atoms arranged in an oval shape (middle and bottom illustration).