Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Help Develop First Single Molecule Transistor

Date:
June 8, 2005
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
A scientist at the University of Liverpool has helped to create the world's smallest transistor - by proving that a single molecule can power electric circuits.

A single molecule transistor.
Credit: Image courtesy of the National Research Council, Canada

A scientist at the University of Liverpool has helped to create the world's smallest transistor - by proving that a single molecule can power electric circuits.

Dr Werner Hofer, from the University's Surface Science Research Centre, is one of an international team of scientists who have created a prototype that demonstrates a single charged atom on a silicon surface can regulate the conductivity of a nearby molecule. Computers and other technology based on this concept would require much less energy to power, would produce much less heat, and run much faster.

Currently, most electronic devices are based on silicon. There is, however, a limit to how many transistors can be packed into a given volume of silicon as the currents in these transistors are high and can overheat. By miniaturizing a transistor, the time during which an electron can pass through it is reduced and therefore the device can be operated with much higher frequencies and take up much less space.

Dr Hofer, a theorist, who worked in collaboration with colleagues from the National Institute for Nanotechnology of the National Research Council in Canada and the University of Alberta, provided the theoretical background in an experiment to examine the potential for electrical transistors on a much smaller, molecular scale. Their findings have been published in the journal, Nature.

Molecules are extremely small, on the scale of a nanometre (one billionth of a metre). The team tested the transistor potential of a molecule by using the electrostatic field emanating from a single atom to regulate the conductivity of a molecule, allowing an electric current to flow through the molecule. These effects were easily observed at room temperature, in contrast to previous molecular experiments that had to be conducted at temperatures close to absolute zero, and with much smaller current amplification. Dr Hofer explains: "Our experiments demonstrate that we can control the current through a single molecule by charging a single atom on a silicon surface, while all surrounding atoms remain neutral.

"Our research brings us a step nearer to using molecular electronics which would not only prove more efficient and cheaper than current devices, but would also have the potential to power green technology because of the biodegradable nature of the device."

He added: "Our prototype is a scientific breakthrough in molecular electronics. We have successfully shown the potential for devices of unheard-of smallness and unheard-of efficiency. This is the first time anyone has shown that a molecule is in fact a transistor."



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liverpool. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "Scientists Help Develop First Single Molecule Transistor." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 June 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050608055511.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2005, June 8). Scientists Help Develop First Single Molecule Transistor. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050608055511.htm
University of Liverpool. "Scientists Help Develop First Single Molecule Transistor." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050608055511.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Magic Leap isn't publicizing much more than a description of its product, but it’s been enough for Google and others to invest more than $500M. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins