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To further develop semiconductor technology, the field of molecular electronics is seeking to manufacture circuit components from individual molecules instead of silicon. Because of their unique electronic properties, molecules are suited to applications that cannot be implemented using conventional silicon technology. However, this requires reliable and inexpensive methods for creating electrical contacts at the two ends of a molecule.
Researchers from the University of Basel and IBM Research -- Zurich have now developed a technique that allows electrical contact to individual molecules to be established. Thousands of stable metal-molecule-metal components can be produced simultaneously by depositing a film of nanoparticles onto the molecules, without compromising the properties of the molecules. This approach was demonstrated using alkane-dithiol compounds, which are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and sulfur.
Researchers - Type - Construction - Interlayer - Molecules
The researchers used a type of sandwich construction in which an interlayer of molecules is brought into contact with metallic electrodes from above and below. The lower electrode consists of a layer of platinum, which is coated with a layer of non-conducting material. Tiny pores are then etched into this layer to produce arbitrary patterns of compartments of different sizes, inside which there is an electrical contact with the platinum electrode.
The researchers then took advantage of the ability of certain molecules...
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