Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Multitasking nanotechnology

Abstract:
Confocal microscope image of a self-assembled monolayer of a polychlorotriphenyl methyl radical patterned on a quartz surface. This multifunctional molecule behaves as an electroactive switch with optical and magnetic response.

Multitasking nanotechnology

France | Posted on July 10th, 2008

Tiny electronically active chemicals can be made to form ordered layers on a surface, thanks to research supported by the European Science Foundation (ESF) through the EUROCORES programne SONS 2 (Self-Organised NanoStructures).

These nanostructured layers may one day be used to build the components of electronics devices, such as transistors and switches, for a future generation of powerful computers based on molecules rather than silicon chips.

Speaking at the European Materials Research Society (EMRS) meeting in Strasbourg, SONS II scientist Marta Mas-Torrent explained the potential of nanotechnology: "Currently, there is a great interest in employing functional molecules as building blocks for preparing devices since this will facilitate the move towards device miniaturization."

On this scale, manipulating nanoscopic components requires skill and determination but by exploiting molecular self assembly, the researchers hope to build ordered layers just a single molecule thick using microcontact printing techniques borrowed from the electronics industry.

They are now creating different arrangements of monolayers on gold, silica, and other materials.

Mas-Torrent works with Nuria Crivillers and Concepcio Rovira in Jaume Veciana's group at CSIC, in Barcelona, Spain, and is a member of the Fun-SMARTs project of ESF's SONS initiative. In her talk, which won the symposium's most original research work, sponsored by Advanced Materials, she explained the importance of multifunctional organic radicals, molecules with a spare electron, such as polychorotriphenylmethyl (PTM) radicals, which can undergo self-assembly into these organised layers.

Organic free radicals are usually highly reactive because of their spare electron. The moment they come into contact with another molecule the electron triggers an often-explosive chemical reaction. PTM radicals are different because their spare electron is shrouded by bulky chlorine atoms that hinder any explosive behaviour.

PTM radicals are often highly coloured and exhibit fluorescence in the red region of the visible spectrum, colour and fluorescence always have the potential to be exploited in optical electronics devices. Just as importantly, PTM radicals are also electroactive. This means they can be easily and reversibly reduced (or oxidized) to their positively or negatively charged (cationic or anionic) species. The different oxidised and reduced forms of PTM are different colours but neither oxidized nor reduced form is magnetic or fluorescent.

Mas-Torrent explained the relevance of this clutch of changeable properties for her self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). "The preparation of SAMs functionalised with PTM radicals on substrates results in multifunctional surfaces which are electrochemically, optically and magnetically active," she said, "We have demonstrated that these SAMs can be used as chemical and electrochemical redox switches with optical and magnetic responses."

Mas-Torrent and her colleagues did not stop with standalone SAMs. They have now added long hydrocarbon side-chains to their PTMs and found that these can also self-assemble on a graphite surface. They then studied behaviour at the interface between the graphite surface and a liquid and found that the self-assembly process is hierarchical and can give rise to complex three-dimensional ordered nanostructures that form double rows composed by a magnetic core of radicals surrounded by the side-chains.

By modifying a surface with molecules that can switch between two states - bistable compounds - the team hopes to open up the possibility of using these systems in memory devices. Surfaces functionalised with PTM radicals will allow them to fabricate multifunctional surfaces which can be interconverted between two states that exhibit different optical and magnetic properties that can be used as read-out mechanisms.

"The ultimate goal is to employ these radical building blocks to construct nanometre-scale devices addressed to specific applications," explains Mas-Torrent. By immobilizing them on specially prepared surfaces they could control and observe electrical and magnetic behaviour and in the future perhaps hook them up to input and output devices.

Key to the team's success is the collaborative possibilities opened up by the program. "Veciana's group started working on the functionalisation of surfaces after the collaboration initiated with the group of Reinhoudt from the MESA+ Research Institute in Twente within the SONS Programme," explains Mas-Torrent. "The combination of the expertise of surface functionalisation from Twente with the expertise of functional molecules of Barcelona emerged in our recent results focused on the functionalisation of different surfaces with multifunctional molecules (paramagnetic, electroactive and fluorescent) which can act as molecular switches," Mas-Torrent adds.

Mas-Torrent concedes that "much more fundamental research works need to be carried out" before applications become available. "We hope that in the future, molecular devices will play an important technological role in our society," she adds.

For more information please go to www.esf.org/sons2

or www.icmab.es/nmmo/

####

About European Science Foundation
The aim of the European Collaborative Research (EUROCORES) Scheme is to enable researchers in different European countries to develop collaboration and scientific synergy in areas where European scale and scope are required to reach the critical mass necessary for top class science in a global context. The scheme provides a flexible framework which allows national basic research funding and performing organisations to join forces to support excellent European research in and across all scientific areas. The European Science Foundation (ESF) provides scientific coordination and support for networking activities of funded scientists currently through the EC FP6 Programme, under contract no. ERAS-CT-2003-980409. Research funding is provided by participating national organisations.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Dr. Angela Michiko Hama

33-388-762-149

Copyright © European Science Foundation

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

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

'Find the Lady' in the quantum world: International team of researchers presents method for quantum-mechanical swapping of positions October 18th, 2017

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Possible Futures

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

'Find the Lady' in the quantum world: International team of researchers presents method for quantum-mechanical swapping of positions October 18th, 2017

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Chip Technology

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Quantum manipulation power for quantum information processing gets a boost: Improving the efficiency of quantum heat engines involves reducing the number of photons in a cavity, ultimately impacting quantum manipulation power October 14th, 2017

Injecting electrons jolts 2-D structure into new atomic pattern: Berkeley Lab study is first to show potential of energy-efficient next-gen electronic memory October 13th, 2017

Self Assembly

Physicists gain new insights into nanosystems with spherical confinement: Enormous potential for the targeted delivery of pharmaceutical agents and the creation of tailored nanoparticles July 27th, 2017

Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials May 17th, 2017

Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017

Nanocages for gold particles: what is happening inside? March 16th, 2017

Nanoelectronics

Nanometrics Announces Preliminary Results for the Third Quarter of 2017: Quarterly Results Impacted by Delays in Revenue Recognition on Multiple Systems into Japan October 12th, 2017

Seeing the next dimension of computer chips: Researchers image perfectly smooth side-surfaces of 3-D silicon crystals with a scanning tunneling microscope, paving the way for smaller and faster computing devices October 11th, 2017

Columbia engineers invent breakthrough millimeter-wave circulator IC October 6th, 2017

Tungsten offers nano-interconnects a path of least resistance: Crystalline tungsten shows insight and promise in addressing the challenges of electrical interconnects that have high resistivity at the nanoscale October 4th, 2017

Announcements

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Rice U. study: Vibrating nanoparticles interact: Placing nanodisks in groups can change their vibrational frequencies October 16th, 2017

Events/Classes

Nanometrics Announces Preliminary Results for the Third Quarter of 2017: Quarterly Results Impacted by Delays in Revenue Recognition on Multiple Systems into Japan October 12th, 2017

More 22 of 59,885 Print all In new window Leti to Present Update of CoolCube/3DVLSI Technologies Development at 2017 IEEE S3S: Future Developments and Tape-Out Vehicles to Be Presented during Oct. 17 Workshop October 12th, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Present Preclinical Data on ARO-AAT at The Liver Meeting(R) October 10th, 2017

Arrowhead to Present at Chardan Gene Therapy Conference October 3rd, 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