chapter  6

Three-Dimensional Molecular Electronics and Integrated Circuits for Signal and Information Processing Platforms

BySergey Edward Lyshevski

Solid-state microelectronics and complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) technology are approaching the fundamental and technological limits. Innovative paradigms and technologies are emerging, promising to ensure revolutionary developments far beyond semiconductor devices and microelectronics scaling. Far-reaching developments are focused on three-dimensional (3D) biomolecular processing platforms (BMPPs), as well as on solid and fluidic molecular electronics. Molecular electronics encompasses novel 3D-topology molecular devices (Mdevice), 3D organizations, innovative architectures, bottom-up fabrication, etc. The achievable volumetric dimensionality of solid molecular electronic devices (MEdevice) is in the order of 1 × 1 × 1 nm. These multiterminal MEdevices can be synthesized and aggregated within neuronal hypercells (hypercell) forming functional molecular integrated circuits (MICs). New device physics, innovative organizations, novel architectures, enabling capabilities/functionality, but not the dimensionality, are the most essential features of molecular and nanoelectronics. Solid and fluidic Mdevices, as compared to semiconductor devices, are based on new device physics, exhibit exclusive phenomena, provide enabling capabilities and possess unique functionality which should be utilized. From the system-level consideration, MICs can be designed within novel 3D organizations and enabling architectures which guarantee superior performance. The aforementioned device physics and system innovations lead to unprecedented advantages and opportunities. At the same time, extraordinary fundamental and technological challenges emerge at the device, module, and system levels. In particular, significant challenges and unsolved problems exist in synthesis and design of Mdevices, molecular gates (Mgate), hypercells, and MICs. For Mdevices, a wide spectrum of fundamental, applied, and experimental issues related to device physics, phenomena, and functionality are not sufficiently examined. At the system level, design, optimization, aggregation, verification and other problems are formidable tasks. From fabrication viewpoints, one can synthesize 3D topology solid MEdevices and aggregates, but the technology has not matured enough to evaluate and characterize complex Mgates and hypercells, not to mention MICs. This chapter reports the fundamentals of molecular electronics and documents possible solutions to some of the aforementioned problems. The device physics of novel solid and fluidic Mdevices is examined, and Mdevices are studied in sufficient detail. Innovative concepts in the design of molecular processing platforms (MPP), formed from MICs, are researched, applying and advancing a molecular architectronics (M architectronics) paradigm. These MPPs can be designed within enabling hierarchic architectures (neuronal, processor-and-memory, fused memory-in-processor, and others) utilizing the 3D organization of molecular processing and memory hardware. Neuromorphological reconfigurable solid and fluidic MPPs are devised by utilizing a 3Dnetworking-and-processing paradigm.