In the burgeoning field of nano-science there are now many ways of 'writing' molecular-scale messages on a surface, one molecule at a time. The trouble is that writing a molecule at a time takes a very long time.
"It is much better if the molecules can be persuaded to gather together and imprint an entire pattern simultaneously, by themselves. One such pattern is an indefinitely long line, which can then provide the basis for the ultimately thin molecular 'wire' required for nano-circuitry," says John Polanyi of the University of Toronto's Department of Chemistry, co- author of the paper to be published on Nature Chemistry this week.
The paper describes, for the first time, a simple molecule that each time it chemically reacts with a surface prepares a hospitable neighbouring site at which the next incoming molecule reacts. Accordingly, these molecules, when simply dosed (blindly) on the surface, spontaneously grow durable 'molecular-chains'. These molecular chains are the desired prototypes of nano-wires.
The experiments were conducted by graduate student Tingbin Lim in the John Polanyi Scanning Tunneling Microscopy laboratory at U of T, in conjunction with theory performed by postdoctoral fellow Dr. Wei Ji in the Hong Guo laboratory in the Department of Physics, McGill University. The experiments in Toronto yielded visual evidence of the chains, and the theory at McGill explained why the chains spontaneously grew.
"Early-on, far-sighted Xerox Research Centre Canada (XRCC) recognized this opportunity for imprinting patterns at the molecular scale, thereby persuading Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the federal Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), through its Strategic Grant program, to fund the bulk of the research costs in our lab," says Polanyi.
"The experiments constituted the doctoral work of a recent PhD student in the Toronto laboratory, Dr. Tingbin Lim an outstanding student who came from Singapore to join our group and now makes his home as a scientist in Canada."
Dr. Wei Ji who did much of the calculations at McGill has returned to his native China where he has been appointed a full Professor. He remains in close collaborative touch with his colleagues at McGill and also in Toronto, to the benefit of all three locales.
The paper, entitled "Surface-mediated chain reaction through dissociative attachment" will be published on Nature Chemistry's website on December 12 at 1 pm Eastern time.
Authors are John C. Polanyi and Tingbin Lim of U of T's Department of Chemistry and Institute of Optical Science and Jong Guo and Wei Ji of the Centre for the Physics of Materials and the Department of Physics, McGill University.
The research was supported by the NSERC, Photonics Research Ontario (PRO), an Ontario Centre of Excellence (OCE), the Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovation (CIPI), the Xerox Research Centre Canada (XRCC), Fonds de Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies (FQRNT) of Quebec and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR).
Kim Luke | EurekAlert!
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
24.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences