Wednesday, 10 September 2014
On Tuesday, the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) and Stanford University (California, USA) announced the discovery it of a diode the size of a molecule. This finding could create a breakthrough in the miniaturization of electronic components. Today the electronics industry mainly uses silicon, a chemical element of the carbon family used especially for the production of transistors. However, the physical limitations of silicon make it less and less controllable during the miniaturization process. For this reason, scientists are now searching for other materials better suited to miniature formats.
Researchers at UCL ,in collaboration with Stanford University, have identified and modeled the characteristics of a molecule composed entirely of carbon, announced the university on Tuesday. Thanks to advances in molecular electronics, two UCL research teams have managed to study and understand the electronic properties of a newly synthesized molecule, capable of letting electricity flow in one direction and not the other. “It therefore behaves like a diode but on a molecular scale, ie a few nanometers”, explained UCL in a press release.
Applications that could make use of this discovery are many, according to the university. “New breakthroughs for future miniaturization of computers, tablets and other electronic devices, but also the construction of ‘green’ devices based on organic molecules” are also being considered for the long term.