Single-molecule switches have the potential to shrink computing circuits dramatically, but new results from the Arizona State University lab that first described how to wire a single molecule between gold contacts now show that laboratory-standard wired molecules have an unavoidable tendency to "blink" randomly.
In the May 30, 2003, Science, Stuart Lindsay and colleagues identify the cause of this blinking behavior as random, temporary breaks in the chemical bond between the wired molecule and the gold contacts, making this particular wired-molecule arrangement unsuitable for electronic circuits. The National Science Foundation, the federal government agency responsible for supporting all areas of science and engineering, supported the research.
"There is a substantial interest in building single-molecule switches for molecular computing," said Lindsay, a professor of biophysics. "The observation from scanning tunneling microscopes is that these wired molecules blink on and off. It was assumed that this was due to some property of the molecules, and if that behavior could be controlled, they could be used as molecular switches." The various molecules examined typically blink once every 30 seconds to four minutes.
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Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.
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Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.
A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...
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