Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Danish chemists in molecular chip breakthrough

20.06.2013
Electronic components built from single molecules using chemical synthesis could pave the way for smaller, faster and more green and sustainable electronic devices. Now for the first time, a transistor made from just one molecular monolayer has been made to work where it really counts. On a computer chip.
Danish Chinese collaboration behind breakthrough

The molecular integrated circuit was created by a group of chemists and physicists from the Department of Chemistry Nano-Science Center at the University of Copenhagen and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. Their discovery “Ultrathin Reduced Graphene Oxide Films as Transparent Top-Contacts for Light Switchable Solid-State Molecular Junctions” has just been published online in the prestigious periodical Advanced Materials. The breakthrough was made possible through an innovative use of the two dimensional carbon material graphene.

First step towards integrated molecular circuit

Kasper Nørgaard is an associate professor in chemistry at the University of Copenhagen. He believes that the first advantage of the newly developed graphene chip will be to ease the testing of coming molecular electronic components. But he is also confident, that it represents a first step towards proper integrated molecular circuits.
“Graphene has some very interesting properties, which cannot be matched by any other material.

What we have shown for the first time is that it’s possible to integrate a functional component on a graphene chip.

I honestly feel this is front page news”, says Nørgaard.

See through sandwich central to function

The molecular computer chip is a sandwich built with one layer of gold, one of molecular components and one of the extremely thin carbon material graphene. The molecular transistor in the sandwich is switched on and of using a light impulse so one of the peculiar properties of graphene is highly useful. Even though graphene is made of carbon, it’s almost completely translucent.

Environmentally important. Strategically vital

The hunt for transistors, wires, contacts and other electronic components made from single molecules has had researchers working night and day. Unlike traditional components they are expected to require no heavy metals and rare earth elements. So they should be cheaper as well as less harmful to earth, water and animals. Unfortunately it has been fiendishly difficult to test how well these functional molecules work. Until now.

The luck of the draw

Previously the testing of the microscopic components had researchers resort to a method best compared to a lottery. In order to check whether or not a newly minted molecule would conduct or break a current, they had to practically dump a beakerfull of molecules between two live wires, hoping that at least one molecule had landed so that it closed the circuit.

Lottery method supplanted by precision placement

Using the new graphene chip researchers can now place their molecules with great precision. This makes it faster and easier to test the functionality of molecular wires, contacts and diodes so that chemists will know in no time whether they need to get back to their beakers to develop new functional molecules, explains Nørgaard.
“We’ve made a design, that’ll hold many different types of molecule” he says and goes on: “Because the graphene scaffold is closer to real chipdesign it does make it easier to test components, but of course it’s also a step on the road to making a real integrated circuit using molecular components. And we must not lose sight of the fact that molecular components do have to end up in an integrated circuit, if they are going to be any use at all in real life”.

The work has been supported by Danish Chinese Center for Molecular Nano-Electronics and financed by the Danish National Research Foundation, the European Union 7th framework for research (FP7) and by The Lundbeck Foundation.

Contact:
Kasper Nørgaard, 2917 6481
kn@nano.ku.dk

Bo Wegge Laursen, 3532 1881
bwl@nano.ku.dk

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.201300607/abstract

Jes Andersen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ku.dk

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer
20.10.2017 | Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

nachricht Metallic nanoparticles will help to determine the percentage of volatile compounds
20.10.2017 | Lomonosov Moscow State University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Taming 'wild' electrons in graphene

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mountain glaciers shrinking across the West

23.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

Scientists track ovarian cancers to site of origin: Fallopian tubes

23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>