New results may lead to advances in nanotechnology, molecular electronics
Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, Bar-Ilan University, and Harvard University have grown ultrathin films of organic chain molecules on the surface of liquid mercury and discovered that the molecules form ordered structures. Similar to sixty years ago when fundamental studies of silicon paved the way to the semiconductor-electronics age, these results help to build a foundation for the development of tiny circuits built using organic molecules — called molecular electronics — a field believed to be the future of many electronic applications.
The scientists are participating in an ongoing program at Brookhaven to grow ultrathin organic films on solid and liquid surfaces. They are most interested in films that have controllable properties at a thickness of just a few nanometers, or billionths of a meter, so that they can engineer technologies based on these properties. In addition to being useful for molecular electronics development, ultrathin organic films are becoming increasingly important for many other emerging technologies, such as flexible electronic displays and advanced biotechnological materials that can, for example, mimic the function of cell membranes.
Laura Mgrdichian | 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.
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