But until now, scientists haven’t been able to make a stable device platform for these molecules to sit inside which could reliably connect with the molecules, exploit their ability to respond to a current, and be easily mass-produced.
Their research was published overnight in Nature.
Their next goal will be to test the platform with different molecules that have different functions to see if they can make it work.
“Imagine a miniaturised transistor made up of several single molecules,” says Koushik.
Koushik is confident their research will open up the bottleneck for this molecular-based technology to move forward.
“Molecular electronics hasn’t previously lived up to expectations, but we’ve seen a renaissance of the field in the last five to six years,” he says.
“The device platform is the missing link. We hope work like ours will accelerate this type of technology.
“The electronic buildings blocks of the future will be molecules.”
“This fundamental research is extremely exciting as it points the way to practically ‘wiring molecules’ by exploiting the fact that Koushik and his colleagues have made a metallic nanoparticle provide a reliable electrical contact to individual molecules,” says Professor Alison Rodger, Head of the Department of Molecular Sciences at Macquarie University.
“As a molecular scientist it illustrates to me the importance of understanding the design and function of molecules for the future realisation of a molecular electronics technology.
“It is amazing to think that this work leads the way to true molecular-sized electronic circuits.”
The paper was co-authored by researchers from Macquarie University, IBM Research – Zurich, the University of Basel, the University of Zurich, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Sun Yat-Sen University.
Source : Macquarie University