A simple, chemical way to attach electrical contacts to molecular-scale electronic components has been developed by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The recently patented* method attaches a layer of copper on the ends of delicate molecular components to avoid damage to the components that commonly occurs with conventional techniques.
Copper contact deposition on organic electronic molecules using the NIST patented process is highly specific, an important feature for building dense arrays of devices. Shown here is a cross-hatched pattern of copper deposits on 10-micrometer-wide, single-layer strips of molecules that have been bound to a gold substrate with microcontact printing.
Molecular electronics--designing carbon-based molecules to act as wires, diodes, transistors and other microelectronic devices--is one of the most dynamic frontiers in nanotechnology. An area equal to the cross-section of a typical human hair might hold about a thousand semiconductor transistors at the current state of art, but up to 13 million molecular transistors.
A key challenge in molecular electronics is making electrical contacts to the fragile molecules, chemical chains that are easily damaged. Currently, this is most often done by vaporizing a metal onto the molecules that stand like blades of grass on a metal substrate. The vaporized metal atoms are supposed to settle on the tops of the molecules but they also often eat away at the delicate structures, or fall through gaps in the "turf" and short out the device. Yields of working devices are typically only a few percent.
Michael Baum | EurekAlert!
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Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
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Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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