IBM has announced that it is now celebrating the 20th anniversary of an important breakthrough in nanotechnology research. Today marks 20 years since IBM Fellow Don Eigler became the first person to ever move and control a single atom.
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Eigler and his team built a custom microscope and used it to spell out IBM with 35 xenon atoms. This was the first time that anyone had successfully moved individual atoms with accuracy. The scanning tunneling microscope was used to visualize and experiment with molecules and atoms.
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Don Eigler's accomplishment remains, to this day, one of the most important breakthroughs in nanoscience and technology," said T.C. Chen, IBM Fellow and vice president, Science & Technology, IBM Research. "At the time, the implications of this achievement were so far-reaching they almost seemed like science fiction. But now, twenty years later, it's clear that this was a defining moment that has spawned the kind of research that will eventually bring us beyond CMOS and Moore's Law, to advance computing to handle the massive volumes of data in the world while using less energy resources."