Molecular electronics is the ultimate miniaturization of electronics. In this area of research, scientists have been studying the movement of electrons through individual molecules in an effort to understand how they might control and use the process in new technologies. Computers and thousands of other devices could become vastly faster, smaller and more reliable than conventional transistor-based (wire-based) electronics.
A team of Ohio University and Brazilian physicists has taken another step toward this goal. In the Rapid Communication section of the Sept. 15 issue of the journal Physical Review B, the researchers present a new theory of how electrons interact in a molecule.
In the new paper, the team describes what happens to electrons when scientists put two molecules between electrodes, which are bits of tiny conducting wire. Existing theoretical models of molecular electronics take into account that electrons avoid each other, according to Nancy Sandler, Ohio University assistant professor of physics and astronomy. The scientists report that molecular vibrations, in addition to strong electronic interactions, will produce unexpected “transport channels.” The electrons move through the molecule while the molecule vibrates, said Sergio Ulloa, co-author of the paper and Ohio University professor of physics and astronomy.
Andrea Gibson | EurekAlert!
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