Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Single molecules as electric conductors

09.07.2009
Minimum size, maximum efficiency: The use of molecules as elements in electronic circuits shows great potential. One of the central challenges up until now has been that most molecules only start to conduct once a large voltage has been applied.

An international research team with participation of the Graz University of Technology has shown that molecules containing an odd number of electrons are much more conductive at low bias voltages.

These fundamental findings in the highly dynamic research field of nanotechnology open up a diverse array of possible applications: More efficient microchips and components with considerably increased storage densities are conceivable.

Researchers from Graz University of Technology, Humboldt University in Berlin, M.I.T., Montan University in Leoben and Georgia Institute of Technology report an important advance in the understanding of electrical conduction through single molecules.

One electron instead of two: Most stable molecules have a closed shell configuration with an even number of electrons. Molecules with an odd number of electrons tend to be harder for chemists to synthesize but they conduct much better at low bias voltages.

Although using an odd rather than an even number of electrons may seem simple, it is a fundamental realization in the field of nanotechnology - because as a result of this, metal elements in molecular electronic circuits can now be replaced by single molecules. "This brings us a considerable step closer to the ultimate minitiurization of electronic components", explains Egbert Zojer from the Institute for Solid State Physics of the Graz University of Technology.

Molecules instead of metal

The motivation for this basic research is the vision of circuits that only consist of a few molecules. "If it is possible to get molecular components to completely assume the functions of a circuit's various elements, this would open up a wide array of possible applications, the full potential of which will only become apparent over time. In our work we show a path to realizing the highly electrically conductive elements", Zojer excitedly reports the momentous consequences of the discovery. Specific new perspectives are opened up in the field of molecular electronics, sensor technology or the development of bio-compatible interfaces between inorganic and organic materials: The latter refers to the contact with biological systems such as human cells, for instance, which can be connected to electronic circuits in a bio-compatible fashion via the conductive molecules. The researchers presented the results of their work in the current issue of the renowned scientific journal 'Nano Letters'.

Original work:
Georg Heimel, Egbert Zojer, Lorenz Romaner, Jean-Luc Brédas and Francesco Stellacci: "Doping Molecular Wires", Nano Letters Vol.9, Issue 7 (2009)
Contact:
Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Egbert Zojer
Institute for Solid State Physics
Email: egbert.zojer@tugraz.at
Tel.: +43 (316) 873 - 8475

Alice Senarclens de Grancy | idw
Further information:
http://www.tugraz.at

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Open, flexible assembly platform for optical systems
23.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnologie IPT

nachricht A big nano boost for solar cells
18.01.2017 | Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies

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: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>