Material Engineering Using Concepts of Modularization in Integrated Circuit Design
With respect to material design, in particular, smart material design with specific functionalities, we may be able to learn something from our peers in electrical engineering. In integrated circuits (IC), we have up to one billion basic units such as capacitors, inductors, and resistors. However, we know exactly where they are and what they do. How does this happen? Because our electrical engineers package a group of basic components into modules such as op-amps and filters. The planar design of layers pioneered by Robert Noyce is the foundation for information technology. Similar modular principles in electrical engineering might be what we need for modern material design. We should package material units with different functionalities and apply these units directly for structural design or the construction of material units at larger scales.