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June 4th, 2005
Molecular logic devices based on switchable molecules have been mostly confined to solution. Fixing them into robust polymers should provide a technologically more attractive material.
David Leigh of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and his collaborators think that a polymeric 'molecular shuttle' might be better suited than solutions of the switchable molecules to applications such as sensing and data storage. They have already made a kind of logic gate from their polymer films, in which an optical output signal is switched by exposure to two chemical input signals. This change is visible to the naked eye in patterned regions of the films.
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