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December 17th, 2007
Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science, together with colleagues from the U.S., have implemented doping using UV light and electron beams in the field of molecular electronics. The research was done with particular application to electronic devices made of single layers of organic (carbon-based) molecules.
Such components might be inexpensive, biodegradable, versatile and easy to manipulate. The main problem with molecular electronics, however, is that the organic materials must first be made sufficiently pure and then, ways must be found to successfully dope these somewhat delicate systems. Professor David Cahen and postdoctoral fellow Oliver Seitz of the Weizmann Institute's Material and Interfaces Department, together with Ayelet Vilan and Hagai Cohen from the Chemical Research Support Unit and Professor Antoine Kahn from Princeton University succeeded in purifying the molecular layer to such an extent that the remaining impurities did not affect the system's electrical behavior. The scientists doped the 'clean' monolayers by irradiating the surface with ultraviolet light or weak electron beams, changing chemical bonds between the carbon atoms that make up the molecular layer. These bonds ultimately influenced electronic transport through the molecules. This achievement was described in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) recently. The researchers predict that this method may enable scientists and electronics engineers to substantially broaden the use of these organic monolayers in the field of nanoelectronics.
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