New! Sign up for our free email newsletter.
Science News
from research organizations

New material for digital memories of the future

Ferroelectric self-assembled molecular materials

Date:
October 18, 2017
Source:
Linköping University
Summary:
Scientists have developed the first material with conductivity properties that can be switched on and off using ferroelectric polarization.
Share:
FULL STORY

Professor Martijn Kemerink of Linköping University has worked with colleagues in Spain and the Netherlands to develop the first material with conductivity properties that can be switched on and off using ferroelectric polarisation.

The phenomenon can be used for small and flexible digital memories of the future, and for completely new types of solar cells.

In an article published in the scientific journal Science Advances, the research group shows the phenomenon in action in three specially built molecules, and proposes a model for how it works.

"I originally had the idea many years ago, and then I just happened to meet Professor David González-Rodríguez, from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, who had constructed a molecule of exactly the type we were looking for," says Martijn Kemerink.

The organic molecules that the researchers have built conduct electricity and contain dipoles. A dipole has one end with a positive charge and one with a negative charge, and changes its orientation (switches) depending on the voltage applied to it. In a thin film of the newly developed molecules, all the dipoles can be caused to switch at exactly the same time, which means that the film changes its polarisation. The property is known as ferroelectricity. In this case, it also leads to a change in the conductivity, from low to high or vice versa. When an electrical field with the opposite polarity is applied, the dipoles again switch direction. The polarisation changes, as does the ability to conduct current.

The molecules designed according to the model developed by the LiU researchers tend to spontaneously place themselves on top of each other to form a stack or a supramolecular wire, with a diameter of just a few nanometres. These wires can subsequently be placed into a matrix in which each junction constitutes one bit of information. This will make it possible in the future to construct extremely small digital memories with very high information density. The synthesis of the new molecules is, however, still too complicated for practical use.

"We have developed a model for how the phenomenon arises in principle, and we have shown experimentally that it works for three different molecules. We now need to continue work to build molecules that can be used in practical applications," says Professor Martijn Kemerink, from Complex Materials and Devices at Linköping University, and principal author of the article.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Linköping University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrey V. Gorbunov, Miguel Garcia Iglesias, Julia Guilleme, Tim D. Cornelissen, W. S. Christian Roelofs, Tomas Torres, David González-Rodríguez, E. W. Meijer, Martijn Kemerink. Ferroelectric self-assembled molecular materials showing both rectifying and switchable conductivity. Science Advances, 2017; 3 (9): e1701017 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701017

Cite This Page:

Linköping University. "New material for digital memories of the future." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171018133219.htm>.
Linköping University. (2017, October 18). New material for digital memories of the future. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 22, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171018133219.htm
Linköping University. "New material for digital memories of the future." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171018133219.htm (accessed February 22, 2024).

Explore More
from ScienceDaily

RELATED STORIES