Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Molecular sudoku

06.10.2011
A team of scientists from the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology, ICREA and UAB investigated the properties of a special kind of sudoku, made by assembling tiny molecules into a 3x3 square array

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
Aitor Mugarza1,2*, Cornelius Krull1,2, Roberto Robles2, Sebastian Stepanow1,2, Gustavo Ceballos1,2, Pietro Gambardella1,2,3,4
1 Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology (ICN), UAB Campus, E-08193 Barcelona, Spain
2 Centre d'Investigacions en Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (CIN2), UAB Campus, E-08193 Barcelona, Spain
3 Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA)
4 Departament de Física, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Barcelona, Spain
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1497
On-line versión will be published 4 October de 2011 a las 18:00 horas
For further information:
Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology (ICN) www.icn.cat
Contact: Prof. Dr. Pietro Gambardella, pietro.gambardella@icn.cat
Communication Dept.: Ana de la Osa, ana.delaosa.icn@uab.es
Tel: + (34) 93 581 4963

Pietro Gambardella | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.icn.cat

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays
18.08.2017 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>