Molecular electronics

Molecular electronics is the use of molecules as the primary building block for electronic circuitry. A molecular approach, it is hoped, will enable the construction of much smaller circuits than is currently possible using the more conventional semiconductors such as silicon. The motion of the electrons in such devices is inherently governed by quantum mechanics.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    The long spin lifetimes observed in polymeric semiconductors hold promise for potential applications. A careful study untangles the main mechanism behind them.

    • Sam Schott
    • , Uday Chopra
    • , Vincent Lemaur
    • , Anton Melnyk
    • , Yoan Olivier
    • , Riccardo Di Pietro
    • , Igor Romanov
    • , Remington L. Carey
    • , Xuechen Jiao
    • , Cameron Jellett
    • , Mark Little
    • , Adam Marks
    • , Christopher R. McNeill
    • , Iain McCulloch
    • , Erik R. McNellis
    • , Denis Andrienko
    • , David Beljonne
    • , Jairo Sinova
    •  & Henning Sirringhaus
  • Reviews |

    Quantum aspects of transport through single molecules are observable at room temperature. In this Technical Review, we discuss the different processes and energy scales involved in charge transport through single-molecule junctions, the resulting electronic functionalities and the new possibilities for controlling these functionalities for the realization of nanoscale devices.

    • Pascal Gehring
    • , Jos M. Thijssen
    •  & Herre S. J. van der Zant
  • Research | | open

    Molecular switches that can access more than just a few states are difficult to realize. Here, the authors use scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy to show that a surface-bound Li@C60 endofullerene can be switched between 14 molecular states—distinguished by the location of the Li atom inside the fullerene cage—by resonant tunnelling through the superatom molecular orbitals.

    • Henry J. Chandler
    • , Minas Stefanou
    • , Eleanor E. B. Campbell
    •  & Renald Schaub
  • Research | | open

    To demonstrate charge transfer in different Marcus regimes in an organic semiconductor, precise tuning of the material’s electronic properties is required. Here, the authors use a three-terminal hot-electron technique to access the Marcus regimes for electronic transport in organic thin films.

    • A. Atxabal
    • , T. Arnold
    • , S. Parui
    • , S. Hutsch
    • , E. Zuccatti
    • , R. Llopis
    • , M. Cinchetti
    • , F. Casanova
    • , F. Ortmann
    •  & L. E. Hueso
  • Research | | open

    All-carbon electronics holds promise beyond the conventional silicon-based electronics, but it remains challenging to manufacture them with well-defined structures thus tunability. Tan et al. control charge transport in single-molecule junctions using different fullerenes between graphene electrodes.

    • Zhibing Tan
    • , Dan Zhang
    • , Han-Rui Tian
    • , Qingqing Wu
    • , Songjun Hou
    • , Jiuchan Pi
    • , Hatef Sadeghi
    • , Zheng Tang
    • , Yang Yang
    • , Junyang Liu
    • , Yuan-Zhi Tan
    • , Zhao-Bin Chen
    • , Jia Shi
    • , Zongyuan Xiao
    • , Colin Lambert
    • , Su-Yuan Xie
    •  & Wenjing Hong
  • Research | | open

    It remains a challenge to fully control molecular electronics. Here, Meng et al. show a reversible two-mode single-molecule switch, where the conductance through the molecular backbone is controlled by an in situ chemical gating via bias-dependent transcis isomerisation on an azobenzene sidegroup.

    • Linan Meng
    • , Na Xin
    • , Chen Hu
    • , Jinying Wang
    • , Bo Gui
    • , Junjie Shi
    • , Cheng Wang
    • , Cheng Shen
    • , Guangyu Zhang
    • , Hong Guo
    • , Sheng Meng
    •  & Xuefeng Guo

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