Research carried out at UPV/EHU, DIPC and CNRS advances the understanding of electric contacts in future carbon-based nanoelectronics
Carbon-based nanostructures such as nanotubes, graphene sheets, and nanoribbons are unique building blocks showing versatile nanomechanical and nanoelectronic properties. These materials which are ordered in the nanoscale, that is, in the dimension of a millionth of millimetre, are promising candidates to envision applications in nanoscale devices, ranging from energy conversion to nano-electronic transistors.
A good connection between carbon-based materials and external metallic leads is of major importance in nanodevice performance, an aspect where an important step has been surmounted by researchers from UPV/EHU, DIPC and CNRS by studying contacts of carbon nanostructures with atoms of different chemical nature.
The chemical nature of contacting leads is of major importance as it affects the electronic properties and the geometry of the contact. The impact of these two aspects on the transport properties are entangled and this group studied these two parameters for contacts shrunk to the limit of individual atoms as for large structures it is challenging to address them separately.
In close collaboration, the researchers used a prototype carbon-based molecule made of 60 carbon atoms arranged in a sphere that can be viewed as a graphene sheet rolled into a tiny ball. The experimental team in Strasbourg led by Guillaume Schull, attached this molecule to the apex of an extremely tiny metal needle of a scanning tunnelling microscope.
The molecule-terminated needle was then cautiously approached to individual metallic atoms of different chemical nature up to the formation of a robust connection. By simultaneously measuring the electrical current passing through these connections, they could deduce which of the individual metallic atom is injecting charges to the carbon-made molecule with the greatest efficiency.
Large-scale computer simulations performed by the theoretical team in San Sebastian led by Thomas Frederiksen, Ikerbasque Research Professor at the DIPC, revealed a fascinating and unexpected aspect of these extremely tiny connections: their electric and mechanical properties are in fact representative for much larger carbon-based materials.
These results, published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, set the bases to find extremely efficient contacts in the near future. The study paves the way to probe a great number of different metallic species (as well as tiny alloys made of two or three different metallic atoms), allowing for a systematic classification of their abilities to inject electrons into emerging carbon-based electronic devices.
Full research publication (open access)
Chemical control of electrical contact to sp2 carbon atoms
T. Frederiksen, G. Foti, F. Scheurer, V. Speisser, & G. Schul. Nature Communications (2014).
Thomas Frederiksen | Eurek Alert!
Neuron and synapse-mimetic spintronics devices developed
17.04.2019 | Tohoku University
New discovery makes fast-charging, better performing lithium-ion batteries possible
16.04.2019 | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter
A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.
Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...
The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks
Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...
Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.
Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...
Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna
A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
09.04.2019 | Event News
18.04.2019 | Life Sciences
18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
18.04.2019 | Life Sciences