The world of nano 'electronics' has been given a major boost, with two separate innovations that could herald even smaller devices.
As Reuters reports, the journal Science carries news of two US teams' developments in pushing through the current barriers for further miniaturisation.
"We have demonstrated that we can make important technologies that are significantly smaller than existing devices," Jeremy Levy of the University of Pittsburgh said in a statement.
Levy's team managed to create transistors that are significantly smaller than current technology by using lanthum aluminate and strontium titanate crystals sandwiched together.
"The transistor we made is arguably the smallest one that has ever been produced in a deterministic and reliable fashion. And we did it using an instrument that can be miniaturized down to the size of a wristwatch," added Levy.
The second team – headed up by Thomas Russell of the University of Massachusetts – has developed an incredibly efficient data storage method.
Russell and his team have been working on a way to stop the normal problem of polymer semiconductor films losing their structure when used on large surfaces.
They have apparently achieved this by using sapphire crystals, with Russell saying: "We applied a simple concept to solve several problems at once, and it really worked out."