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Successful Test Of Single Molecule Switch Opens The Door To Biomolecular Electronics

ough it as electrons were removed by another electrode, turning it from an insulator to a strong conductor and then back into an insulator again.

Given the measured electrical properties of the oligoaniline, Lindsay notes that if the molecule is maintained at its highly conductive state (at low voltage) and then the voltage applied to the molecule is increased, the connections to the molecule will rip electrons out of the molecule, pushing it back into its insulating state. This decrease of current with increasing voltage is called “negative differential resistance?(NDR) and it allows a useful device to be made with just two electrodes, not the three originally used.

“NDR is the basis for memories, switches and logic elements,?Lindsay says. “It has been observed in molecules before but never in controlled conditions, never at low voltages, and not in a predictable way.?/p>

Lindsay stresses that the main value of the finding is not in having found a molecule that could be developed into a working electrical switch, but in discovering some critical design parameters that should make possible successful research in designing molecular devices.

“We have a working rational roadmap now for how to do this, and we’re already hard at work applying it to a wide variety of potentially exciting applications,?he says.

Authors on the Nano Letters paper are Lindsay, who also is the Nadine and Edward Carson Professor of Physics and Chemistry and Biochemistry at ASU; ASU physicists Fan Chen, and Jin He; and Columbia University chemists Colin Nuckolls, Tucker Roberts and Jennifer E. Klare.


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Source:Arizona State University


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