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TU Dresden » Faculty of Mechanical Science and Engineering » Institute for Materials Science » Chair of Materials Science and Nanotechnology

Monday, 22 May 2006
(at 16:15 in room H 44 (Chemie!))
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Molecules in electronic circuits: from integrated single molecules to SAMs in CMOS technology

Marcel Mayor

Department of Chemistry
University of Basel

The integration of molecular structures in electronic circuits is a concept that has already been proposed in the sixties, when Hans Kuhn presented his vision of molecular engineering. Limited by the available techniques, Kuhn and coworkers mainly investigated molecular monolayers deposited on electrodes. In the last few years, the tools to investigate nanoscale objects have improved tremendously, mainly driven by the invention of the scanning probe methods. Furthermore, feature sizes in semiconductor technology have been reduced very fast and continuously. However, this feature size reduction seems to hit soon both, physical and economical limits. With that background, the revival of the idea to integrate molecules in electronic circuits is not surprising. Molecules are well defined nanoscale objects consisting of a definite structure leading to particular electronic properties. As these structures can be tailored by chemical synthesis, the visionary concept of molecular electronics is geared by the hope that electronic functions can be realized by carefully designed molecular structures. Apart from the huge variety given by the immenseness of possible molecular structures, the incredible smallness of a functional unit based on a molecule is a main driving force. However, integration of molecular structures in electronic circuits is still an experimental challenge and the field is still at the level of exploring the potential as well as the limitations. In close cooperation with physicists and engineers from academics and industry, single molecules and assemblies of molecules have been integrated in electronic circuits. Correlations between the molecular structure and the observed I/V characteristics have been investigated. The findings allow to further optimize the molecules for particular electronic functions. Several molecular systems have been synthesized and studied to collect the required comprehension to design particular electronic functions. Recently, a molecular rod acting as s single molecule rectifier has been designed, synthesized and integrated. Indeed rectification was observed, however, it does not yet match the rectification ratios known from its silicon opponents.

slides (pdf)

Invited by G. Cuniberti

Within the Physikalisches Kolloquium

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