Danish chemists in molecular chip breakthrough
Electronic components built from single molecules using chemical synthesis could pave the way for smaller, faster and more green and sustainable electronic devices. Now for the first time, a transistor made from just one molecular monolayer has been made to work where it really counts. On a computer chip.
The ultra slim carbon material graphene is pivotal in the effort by Copenhagen chemists to build smaller, faster and more green and sustainable electronic devices. Now for the first time, A team led by Kasper Nørgaard, an associate professor at Dept of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, has made a transistor made from just one molecular monolayer work where it really counts. On a computer chip. Credit: Jes Andersen/University of Copenhagen
The molecular integrated circuit was created by a group of chemists and physicists from the Department of Chemistry Nano-Science Center at the University of Copenhagen and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. Their discovery "Ultrathin Reduced Graphene Oxide Films as Transparent Top-Contacts for Light Switchable Solid-State Molecular Junctions" has just been published online in the prestigious periodical Advanced Materials. The breakthrough was made possible through an innovative use of the two dimensional carbon material graphene.
First step towards integrated molecular circuit
Kasper Nørgaard is an associate professor in chemistry at the University of Copenhagen. He believes that the first advantage of the newly developed graphene chip will be to ease the testing of coming molecular electronic components. But he is also confident, that it represents a first step towards proper integrated molecular circuits.
"Graphene has some very interesting properties, which cannot be matched by any other material. What we have shown is that it's possible to integrate a functional component on a graphene chip. I honestly feel this is front page news", says Nørgaard.
The molecular computer chip is a sandwich built with one layer of gold, one of molecular components and one of the extremely thin carbon material graphene. The molecular transistor in the sandwich is switched on and of using a light impulse so one of the peculiar properties of graphene is highly useful. Even though graphene is made of carbon, it's almost completely translucent.
The hunt for transistors, wires, contacts and other electronic components made from single molecules has had researchers working night and day. Unlike traditional components they are expected to require no heavy metals and rare earth elements. So they should be cheaper as well as less harmful to earth, water and animals. Unfortunately it has been fiendishly difficult to test how well these functional molecules work. Until now.Read more at: http://phys.org