Hardware based on this could be reconfigured on the fly to perform completely different operations, something that could be useful for security, as it makes it very complicated for hacker to figure out how security features are implemented.
The solution to this, the authors argue, is to create transistors that aren't committed to a particular function. And it's not possible to do that with silicon. But it turns out that atomically thin materials, which have been studied for other reasons, aren't inherently p- or n-type semiconductors. Their behavior is set by their environment, as they'll carry a positive or negative charge depending on what's injected into the material from the metal conductors that wire up the transistor. So, the researchers decided to test whether they could actually build a reconfigurable transistor.In their paper, the researchers describe the capabilities of black phosphorus. They also built a a bit of logic that could dynamically switch from NAND to NOR function. Actual hardware is of course still far from being production-ready. Full details at ARS Technica.