Abacus Made of Carbon Molecules Is Assembled Under Microscope

From Times staff reports

The "balls" on the abacus shown above are individual molecules of buckminsterfullerene--60-carbon molecules in the shape of a soccer ball. The device--billed as the world's smallest abacus--was assembled by researchers at IBM's Zurich research laboratory using a powerful scanning transmission microscope to deposit the "buckyballs" on a substrate of copper. Calculations can be performed by moving the balls with the tip of the microscope.

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