Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > The smallest conceivable switch Targeted proton transfer within a molecule

Physicists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen have created a nano switch based on a single porphyrin ring. If one of two protons from the inside of the ring is removed, the remaining proton can take on any one of four positions, initiated by a single tunnel electron from the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope.

Credit: Knud Seufert / Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Physicists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen have created a nano switch based on a single porphyrin ring. If one of two protons from the inside of the ring is removed, the remaining proton can take on any one of four positions, initiated by a single tunnel electron from the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope.

Credit: Knud Seufert / Technische Universitaet Muenchen

Abstract:
For a long time miniaturization has been the magic word in electronics. Dr. Willi Auwaerter and Professor Johannes Barth, together with their team of physicists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), have now presented a novel molecular switch in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. Decisive for the functionality of the switch is the position of a single proton in a porphyrin ring with an inside diameter of less than half a nanometer. The physicists can set four distinct states on demand.

The smallest conceivable switch Targeted proton transfer within a molecule

Munich, Germany | Posted on December 12th, 2011

Porphyins are ring-shaped molecules that can flexibly change their structure, making them useful for a wide array of applications. Tetraphenylporphyrin is no exception: It likes to take on a saddle shape and is not limited in its functionality when it is anchored to a metal surface. The molecule holds has a pair of hydrogen atoms that can change their positions between two configurations each. At room temperature this process takes place continuously at an extremely rapid rate.

In their experiment, the scientists suppressed this spontaneous movement by cooling the sample. This allowed them to induce and observe the entire process in a single molecule using a scanning tunneling microscope. This kind of microscope is particularly well suited for the task since - in contrast to other methods - it can be used not only to determine the initial and final states, but also allows the physicists to control the hydrogen atoms directly. In a further step they removed one of the two protons from the inside of the porphyrin ring. The remaining proton could now take on any one of four positions. A tiny current that flows through the fine tip of the microscope stimulates the proton transfer, setting a specific configuration in the process.

Although the respective positions of the hydrogen atoms influence neither the basic structure of the molecule nor its bond to the metallic surface, the states are not identical. This small but significant difference, taken together with the fact that the process can be arbitrarily repeated, forms the basis of a switch whose state can be changed up to 500 times per second. A single tunneled electron initiates the proton transfer.

The molecular switch has a surface area of only one square nanometer, making it the smallest switch implemented to date. The physicists are thrilled by their demonstration and are also very happy about new insights into the mechanism behind the proton transfer resulting from their study. Knud Seufert played a key role with his experiments: "To operate a four-state switch by moving a single proton within a molecule is really fascinating and represents a true step forward in nano-scale technologies."

This research was funded by the European Research Council (ERC Advanced Grant MolArt, No. 247299), the Excellence Cluster Munich-Centre for Advanced Photonics (MAP) and the Institute for Advanced Study of the TU Muenchen.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Dr. Andreas Battenberg

49-892-891-0510

Copyright © Technische Universitaet Muenchen

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 Links

Original publication: Willi Auwaerter, Knud Seufert, Felix Bischoff, David Ecija, Saranyan Vijayaraghavan, Sushobhan Joshi, Florian Klappenberger, Niveditha Samudrala, and Johannes V. Barth

Related News Press

News and information

Efficiency of Nanodrug Containing Antibiotics in Treatment of Infectious Diseases Evaluated August 31st, 2015

Seeing quantum motion August 30th, 2015

Artificial leaf harnesses sunlight for efficient fuel production August 30th, 2015

Researchers use DNA 'clews' to shuttle CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells August 30th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Seeing quantum motion August 30th, 2015

Artificial leaf harnesses sunlight for efficient fuel production August 30th, 2015

Researchers use DNA 'clews' to shuttle CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells August 30th, 2015

Draw out of the predicted interatomic force August 30th, 2015

Molecular Machines

Injectable electronics: New system holds promise for basic neuroscience, treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases June 8th, 2015

One step closer to a single-molecule device: Columbia Engineering researchers first to create a single-molecule diode -- the ultimate in miniaturization for electronic devices -- with potential for real-world applications May 25th, 2015

UCLA nanoscientists are first to model atomic structures of three bacterial nanomachines: Cryo electron microscope enables scientists to explore the frontiers of targeted antibiotics April 21st, 2015

Advances in molecular electronics: Lights on -- molecule on: Researchers from Dresden and Konstanz succeed in light-controlled molecule switching April 20th, 2015

Molecular Nanotechnology

Sandcastles inspire new nanoparticle binding technique August 5th, 2015

New computer model could explain how simple molecules took first step toward life: Two Brookhaven researchers developed theoretical model to explain the origins of self-replicating molecules July 28th, 2015

Rare form: Novel structures built from DNA emerge July 20th, 2015

Groundbreaking research to help control liquids at micro and nano scales July 3rd, 2015

Nanoelectronics

Nanotechnology that will impact the Security & Defense sectors to be discussed at NanoSD2015 conference August 25th, 2015

'Quantum dot' technology may help light the future August 19th, 2015

Surprising discoveries about 2-D molybdenum disulfide: Berkeley Lab researchers use award-winning campanile probe on promising semiconductor August 15th, 2015

Better together: Graphene-nanotube hybrid switches August 3rd, 2015

Discoveries

Efficiency of Nanodrug Containing Antibiotics in Treatment of Infectious Diseases Evaluated August 31st, 2015

Seeing quantum motion August 30th, 2015

Artificial leaf harnesses sunlight for efficient fuel production August 30th, 2015

Researchers use DNA 'clews' to shuttle CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells August 30th, 2015

Announcements

Efficiency of Nanodrug Containing Antibiotics in Treatment of Infectious Diseases Evaluated August 31st, 2015

Seeing quantum motion August 30th, 2015

Artificial leaf harnesses sunlight for efficient fuel production August 30th, 2015

Researchers use DNA 'clews' to shuttle CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells August 30th, 2015

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic