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A team of researchers at the University of Southern California has built small-scale molecular memory arrays using nanowires as the top electrodes and interconnects for molecular wires.
Credit: Dr. Chongwu Zhou, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California

Title: How Do Engineers Strengthen the Economy?
Engineers develop new technologies and processes for long-term economic growth, such as supercomputers that empower researchers to make groundbreaking discoveries and manufacturing methods that assemble products and materials at the nanoscale.

Overall, manufacturing is becoming more productive and flexible as engineers create new techniques such as rapid fabrication systems that build complex structures one thin layer at a time, and microbe assembly lines that produce medicines, catalysts and other products.

A growing trend is the use of environmentally friendly manufacturing and energy systems that keep the environment clean and save money. Engineers are rapidly unveiling "green" technologies that would have seemed impossible decades ago, from hydrogen fuel cells to closed-loop approaches that utilize every by-product in the manufacturing chain—resulting in zero waste.

Why Are Engineers Exploring Nanotechnology? [Next]