Smaller is better, in the electronics industry right now, as the smaller circuitry can be, the more circuitry you can contain on a single chip. To that end, researchers are working on how to create circuits of nanowires that are just atoms wide, but this small size makes them difficult to work with. Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science though, have found a way to grow nanowires into circuits.
Typically nanowires are grown vertically on a substrate, and are then harvested and placed down horizontally. This process leaves the nanowires in a disordered mess though, making it very hard to form an integrated circuit. The Weizmann researchers have developed a different approach that controls nanowire growth with atom-sized grooves. Catalyst particles that act as seeds for the nanowires are placed in the middle of the grooves, which then define the position, length, and direction the nanowires grow in.
The researchers have already built a logic circuit called an Address Decoder with this method, and they believe this method has great potential. Eventually it could be used to create better LEDs, lasers, and solar cells, amongst other technologies.
Source: Weizmann Institute of Science