Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Quick Reaction "Chromophores" Emerge as New Class of Semiconductors, Suitable for Nanoscale Electronics

04.07.2006
The future of high-speed electronics might very well be defined by linking together small, "electrically jumpy" molecules called chromophores. According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and St. Josephs University, electrical charges can zip along chains of linked chromophores faster than any electrical charge yet observed in organic semiconductors, beating the previous benchmark in this regard by a factor of three. Their findings suggest the use of chromophore-based circuitry that could create nano-sized electronic components for numerous applications. Their findings are presented in the current issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

In chemistry, a chromophore is any molecule or part of a molecule responsible for its color. Light hitting a chromophore excites an electron, which then emits light of a particular color.

"Here we have created chains of chromophores that are primed to move charge," said Michael J. Therien, a professor in Penn's Department of Chemistry and lead researcher in the project. "When a charge is introduced to an array of chromophores linked closely together, it enables electrons to quickly hop from one chromophore to the next."

A charge can travel down a chain of chromophores at a rate of about 10 million times a second, which means that these chromophore arrays can do anything that organic semiconductors currently do, only much faster.

Penn researchers Kimihiro Susumu and Paul Frail built chromophore circuits that could, for example, serve as the functional elements in disposable plastic electronics, radio frequency identification tags, electronic drivers for active-matrix liquid crystal displays and organic light-emitting diodes as well as for lightweight solar cells.

Therien and his colleagues have found that the key to creating materials that allow electrons to move so quickly and freely is to build structures that feature long chromophores and short linkers between these units.

"This arrangement of linked chromophores leads to small structural changes when holes (positive charges) and electrons (negative charges) are introduced into these structures and these physical changes help propagate the charge," said Paul Angiolillo of St. Josephs University, co-author of the study. "The introduction of these structural changes is actually a new idea in the design of conducting and semi-conducting organic materials."

The semiconductor industry is well aware of potential barriers to creating faster and faster electronics. In terms of circuitry, size directly relates to speed. Currently, circuits based on semiconductors have shrunk to dimensions just below 100 nanometers, or one hundred billionths of a meter, across. Chromophores may represent the first relatively easy-to-use materials that function on the nanoscale.

"In order to move significantly past the 100-nano barrier in electronics, we need to develop nano structures that let electrons move, as they do through wires and semiconductors," Therien said. "Our work also shows for the first time that molecular conductive elements can be produced on a 10-nanometer length scale, providing an important functional element for nanoscale circuitry."

This research was supported by the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Greg Lester | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upenn.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht New design improves performance of flexible wearable electronics
23.06.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics
22.06.2017 | American Chemical Society

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>