Thanks to a team of materials scientists at Northwestern University, molecular electronics may be one step closer to reality. The researchers, led by Mark Hersam, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, have become the first to measure a unique and versatile nanoelectronic effect -- called resonant tunneling -- through individual molecules mounted directly on silicon.
The findings were published online Nov. 1 by Nano Letters, a publication of the American Chemical Society. The article will appear in print on the cover of the journals January 2004 issue. "This work represents the first experimental realization of a molecular resonant tunneling device on a semiconductor," said Hersam. "The device works at room temperature and on silicon, which are important features that suggest that it can be made compatible with conventional silicon microelectronics. Its easier to make inroads if you complement current technology rather than replace it."
Silicon microelectronics has undergone relentless miniaturization during the past 30 years leading to dramatic improvements in computational capacity and speed. At the most fundamental limit, individual molecules have been envisaged as functional electronic devices. When interfaced with conventional circuitry, resonant tunneling devices allow improved efficiency and reduced power consumption in computer architectures.
Megan Fellman | EurekAlert!
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The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.
Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...
Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.
Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...
Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices
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Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.
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After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.
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