Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Newfound ability of organic molecules to conduct electricity opens door to smaller, cheaper, and more powerful technologies

Abstract:
Pitt Researchers Make Breakthrough in Nanotechnology by Uncovering Conductive Property of Carbon-based Molecules

Newfound ability of organic molecules to conduct electricity opens door to smaller, cheaper, and more powerful technologies

PITTSBURGH, PA | Posted on April 17th, 2008

University of Pittsburgh researchers have discovered that certain organic-or carbon-based-molecules exhibit the properties of atoms under certain circumstances and, in turn, conduct electricity as well as metal. Detailed in the April 18 edition of "Science," the finding is a breakthrough in developing nanotechnology that provides a new strategy for designing electronic materials, including inexpensive and multifunctional organic conductors that have long been considered the key to smaller, cheaper, and faster technologies.

The Pitt team found that the hollow, soccer-ball-shaped carbon molecules known as fullerenes can hold and transfer an electrical charge much like the most highly conductive atoms, explained project head Hrvoje Petek, a professor of physics and chemistry in Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences and codirector of Pitt's Petersen Institute for NanoScience and Engineering. The research was performed by Pitt post-doctoral associates Min Feng and Jin Zhao.

When an electron was introduced into a fullerene molecule, the shape of the electron distribution mimicked that of a hydrogen atom or an atom from the alkali metal group, which includes lithium, sodium, and potassium. Moreover, when two fullerenes were placed next to each other on a copper surface, they showed the electron distribution of their chemical bond and appeared as H2, a hydrogen molecule. The assembly exhibited metal-like conductivity when the team extended it to a wire 1-molecule-wide.

"Our work provides a new perspective on what determines the electronic properties of materials," Petek said. "The realization that hollow molecules can have metal-like conductivity opens the way to develop novel materials with electronic and chemical properties that can be tailored by shape and size."

Although the team worked with fullerenes, the team's results apply to all hollow molecules, Petek added, including carbon nanotubes-rolled, 1-atom-thick sheets of graphite 100,000 times smaller than a human hair.

The team's research shows promise for the future of electronics based on molecular conductors. These molecule-based devices surpass the semiconductor and metal conductors of today in terms of lower cost, flexibility, and the ability to meld the speed and power of optics and electronics. Plus, unlike such inorganic conductors as silicon, molecule-based electronics can be miniaturized to a 1-dimensional scale (1-molecule-wide), which may enable them to conduct electricity with minimal loss and thus improve the performance of an electronic device.

Traditionally, the problem has been that organic conductors have not conducted electrical current very well, Petek said. The Pitt team's discovery could enable scientists to finally overcome that problem, he added.

"Metal-like behavior in a molecular material-as we have found-is highly surprising and desirable in the emerging field of molecular electronics," he said.

"Our work is a unique example of how nanoscale materials can be used as atom-sized building blocks for molecular materials that could replace silicon and copper in electronic devices, luminescent displays, photovoltaic cells, and other technologies."

To view the paper, visit the "Science" Web site at www.sciencemag.org.

####

About University of Pittsburgh
Founded in 1787 as a small, private school, the Pittsburgh Academy was located in a log cabin near Pittsburgh’s three rivers. In the 220 years since, the University has evolved into an internationally recognized center of learning and research.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Morgan Kelly
412-624-4356 (office)
412-897-1400 (cell)


Copyright © University of Pittsburgh

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Gold standards for nanoparticles: Understanding how small organic ions stabilize gold nanoparticles may allow for better control March 29th, 2017

Tiny sensor lays groundwork for precision X-rays detection via endoscopy:Nanoscale fiber-integrated X-ray sensor opens new doors for medical imaging and radiotherapy March 29th, 2017

Researchers uncover secret of nanomaterial that makes harvesting sunlight easier March 29th, 2017

Information storage with a nanoscale twist: Discovery of a novel rotational force inside magnetic vortices makes it easier to design ultrahigh capacity disk drives March 28th, 2017

Chip Technology

Gold standards for nanoparticles: Understanding how small organic ions stabilize gold nanoparticles may allow for better control March 29th, 2017

A big leap toward tinier lines: Self-assembly technique could lead to long-awaited, simple method for making smaller microchip patterns March 27th, 2017

ATTOPSEMI Technology Joins FDXcelerator Program to Deliver Advanced Non-Volatile Memory IP to GLOBALFOUNDRIES 22 FDX® Technology Platform: Leading-edge I-fuse™ brings higher reliability, smaller cell size and ease of programmability for consumer, automotive, and IoT applications March 27th, 2017

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen March 24th, 2017

Nanoelectronics

A big leap toward tinier lines: Self-assembly technique could lead to long-awaited, simple method for making smaller microchip patterns March 27th, 2017

Scientists discover new 'boat' form of promising semiconductor: GeSe Uncommon form attenuates semiconductor's band gap size March 23rd, 2017

UC researchers use gold coating to control luminescence of nanowires: University of Cincinnati physicists manipulate nanowire semiconductors in pursuit of making electronics smaller, faster and cheaper March 17th, 2017

A SOI wafer is a suitable substrate for gallium nitride crystals: Improved characteristics in power electronics and radio applications can be achieved by using a SOI wafer for gallium nitride growth March 4th, 2017

Discoveries

Gold standards for nanoparticles: Understanding how small organic ions stabilize gold nanoparticles may allow for better control March 29th, 2017

Tiny sensor lays groundwork for precision X-rays detection via endoscopy:Nanoscale fiber-integrated X-ray sensor opens new doors for medical imaging and radiotherapy March 29th, 2017

Researchers uncover secret of nanomaterial that makes harvesting sunlight easier March 29th, 2017

Information storage with a nanoscale twist: Discovery of a novel rotational force inside magnetic vortices makes it easier to design ultrahigh capacity disk drives March 28th, 2017

Announcements

Gold standards for nanoparticles: Understanding how small organic ions stabilize gold nanoparticles may allow for better control March 29th, 2017

Tiny sensor lays groundwork for precision X-rays detection via endoscopy:Nanoscale fiber-integrated X-ray sensor opens new doors for medical imaging and radiotherapy March 29th, 2017

Researchers uncover secret of nanomaterial that makes harvesting sunlight easier March 29th, 2017

Information storage with a nanoscale twist: Discovery of a novel rotational force inside magnetic vortices makes it easier to design ultrahigh capacity disk drives March 28th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project