Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A small connection with big implications: Wiring up carbon-based electronics

30.04.2014

Research carried out at UPV/EHU, DIPC and CNRS advances the understanding of electric contacts in future carbon-based nanoelectronics

Carbon-based nanostructures such as nanotubes, graphene sheets, and nanoribbons are unique building blocks showing versatile nanomechanical and nanoelectronic properties. These materials which are ordered in the nanoscale, that is, in the dimension of a millionth of millimetre, are promising candidates to envision applications in nanoscale devices, ranging from energy conversion to nano-electronic transistors.


Artistic view of an electric connection between a carbon-based "football" molecule and a single metallic atom (gray ball). The researchers were able to quantify how the current depends on the chemical nature of the contacting atom.

A good connection between carbon-based materials and external metallic leads is of major importance in nanodevice performance, an aspect where an important step has been surmounted by researchers from UPV/EHU, DIPC and CNRS by studying contacts of carbon nanostructures with atoms of different chemical nature.

The chemical nature of contacting leads is of major importance as it affects the electronic properties and the geometry of the contact. The impact of these two aspects on the transport properties are entangled and this group studied these two parameters for contacts shrunk to the limit of individual atoms as for large structures it is challenging to address them separately.

In close collaboration, the researchers used a prototype carbon-based molecule made of 60 carbon atoms arranged in a sphere that can be viewed as a graphene sheet rolled into a tiny ball. The experimental team in Strasbourg led by Guillaume Schull, attached this molecule to the apex of an extremely tiny metal needle of a scanning tunnelling microscope.

The molecule-terminated needle was then cautiously approached to individual metallic atoms of different chemical nature up to the formation of a robust connection. By simultaneously measuring the electrical current passing through these connections, they could deduce which of the individual metallic atom is injecting charges to the carbon-made molecule with the greatest efficiency.

Large-scale computer simulations performed by the theoretical team in San Sebastian led by Thomas Frederiksen, Ikerbasque Research Professor at the DIPC, revealed a fascinating and unexpected aspect of these extremely tiny connections: their electric and mechanical properties are in fact representative for much larger carbon-based materials.

These results, published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, set the bases to find extremely efficient contacts in the near future. The study paves the way to probe a great number of different metallic species (as well as tiny alloys made of two or three different metallic atoms), allowing for a systematic classification of their abilities to inject electrons into emerging carbon-based electronic devices.

Full research publication (open access)
Chemical control of electrical contact to sp2 carbon atoms
T. Frederiksen, G. Foti, F. Scheurer, V. Speisser, & G. Schul. Nature Communications (2014).
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4659

Thomas Frederiksen | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.ehu.es/p200-content/en/contenidos/noticia/20140416_conexion_carbono/en_20140416/20140416_conexion_carbono.html

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon
27.06.2017 | WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH

nachricht Air pollution casts shadow over solar energy production
27.06.2017 | Duke University

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

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

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>