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Nanoelectronics breakthrough in working with molecular wires

By Research in Germany

Whether they are in automation technology, medical technology or consumer electronics, many of today's technological developments would be inconceivable without the advances made in microelectronics with its small and powerful components. In the field of nanoelectronics, scientists at the Forschungszentrum Jülich have now succeeded in making a breakthrough in working with so-called "molecular wires".

Nanoelectronics breakthrough in working with molecular wires© Forschungszentrum JülichA scientist from the Peter Grünberg Institute at the Forschungszentrum Jülich sets up the microscope to take a measurement
Using a recently developed measuring technique, they were able to measure the conductivity of individual molecules that could be used to optimise nanoelectronic components for the first time under controlled conditions. Their method made it possible to contact the ends of an individual, isolated molecule with two electrodes on one atom each in a controlled way. The ability to measure the conductivity of individual molecules is considered an important prerequisite for the further development of nanocomponents and materials.

"Earlier measurements were very unreliable because nobody could say precisely how such an individual molecule was in contact with the electrode. By combining the known contact technique in the scanning tunnelling microscope with an atomic force microscope, we were able to directly pursue the lifting of a single molecular wire for the first time," Stefan Tautz of the Peter Grünberg Institute at the Forschungszentrum Jülich explains the process.

In nanoelectronics, molecular wires are considered promising as important building blocks for powerful data storage systems and more economical computer processors with great computational power. In the future they could also form the basis for new kinds of sensors and the connection between living cells and electronic systems.

More information:

Prof. Dr. Stefan Tautz, Peter Grünberg Institute at the Forschungszentrum Jülich

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