Molecular electronics is a fascinating multidisciplinary field of research which contributes to both fundamental science and future technological advances. The use of molecules as functional units has numerous appealing advantages including miniaturization (More Moore: MM), quicker and more efficient devices as well as the discovery of new and amazing properties due to the appearance of quantum phenomena at the nanoscale (More than Moore: MtM).
It is expected that the use of molecules in electronic devices as critical functional elements will lead to a novel technology opening new routes to future industrial processes for high-value products. The use of functional organic materials has attracted a great deal of attention from researchers due to the numerous and very appealing advantages of using molecules as functional units. Thus, the use of molecules in electronic devices potentially offers advantages such as miniaturization, increases in device speed through the circuit, and diminished power consumption. In addition, subtle perturbation of the molecular structure may result in significant changes in the functional properties, which in turn leads to a wide range of technological possibilities. In the past few years, it has been demonstrated that individual or small packets of molecules, addressed in an ordered way, can conduct and switch electrical current, as well as retain electrical bits of information and provide the basis for the development of a molecular electronics technology base. However, it must be highlighted that the interest in molecular electronics is not only based on further and cheaper miniaturization processes (MM) but also on the generation of new types of devices whose properties could be qualitatively different due to the emergence of quantum phenomena (MtM). These quantum phenomena may permit the appearance of new functions and technological applications not possible with conventional semiconductors such as quantum information processing, quantum computation, thermoelectric energy conversion, etc.
It is the objective of our research at LMA to harness activity at the limits of state of the art in molecular design, in molecule-surface contact chemistry, in surface film metrology and in genuine “in device” fabrication and measurement methods which will contribute to pave the way to the next generation of a new technology. In particular we are working on the fabrication of robust metal-molecule junctions, fabrication of the top contact electrode and electrical characterization of metal-molecule-metal junctions and metal-monolayer-metal devices.
Fabrication of robust metal/molecule junctions and the top contact electrode
Formation of C-Au bonds to facilitate the charge transport
Electrical characterization of single molecules and monolayers (self-assembled, SA, or Langmuir-Blodgett, LB, films)