As reported this week in Nature Communications, the researchers used the atomically-sharp tip of a scanning tunneling microscope to move 1-nanometer sized molecules on top of a silver substrate.
The tip is controlled with such great accuracy that it is possible to precisely choose the position of each molecule and build tiny molecular squares, crosses, and chains of controlled size and orientation. The same tip is then used as a mobile electrode to probe the electrical conductivity of the molecules as a function of their position in the array. Figures a-d show an example of such measurements: a represent the topography of a "sudoku" molecular cluster, whereas b-d show regions of high conductivity at different voltages.
At low voltage, electrons prefer to pass through the corner molecules, whereas at high voltage, only the central molecule is conducting. This is so because the conductivity depends strongly on a small set of electronic states, which conduct electricity to the substrate, and these are modified by the presence of side-to-side neighbors.
The molecular conductance was found to vary strongly not only from one molecule to another, but also within each molecule, due to the possibility of exploiting different electron transport channels at different positions. Such conduction channels arise from the excitation of internal degrees of freedom of the molecules, such as atomic vibrations and magnetic coupling of the electronic spins. All together, these results demonstrate the intricacy and beauty of molecular electronics, providing a glimpse of its advantages, such as the fabrication of versatile miniaturized circuits, and challenges, which may prove harder to solve than a sudoku game.Spin coupling and relaxation inside molecule-metal contacts
Pietro Gambardella | EurekAlert!
Tracing aromatic molecules in the early universe
23.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside
New study maps space dust in 3-D
23.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
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...
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