A slightly pointless nanotech invention that might, however, be a route to smaller memory. It relies on the same basic idea as an abacus - beads on a string or step - but on a molecular scale.

Two alternative methods are:

  • Bucky balls on a copper 'step' pushed along with a STM.
  • Cyclodextrins on a PEG wire, with light switching through N=N groups. Possible to reversibly move the beads with coloured light, allowing optical interface.