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Electrical Contact to Molecules in Semiconductor Structures Established for the First Time


Section of a silicon wafer containing thousands of pores with contact pads for electrical characterization.

A team of researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland and IBM ResearchZurich have developed a new technique that enables electrical contact to be established with simple molecules in a conventional silicon chip.

Credit: IBM Research-Zurich

A new technique that enables electrical contact to be established with simple molecules in a conventional silicon chip has been developed by a team of researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland and IBM Research–Zurich.

The team found thousands of stable metal-molecule-metal components can be produced at the same time by depositing a film of nanoparticles onto the molecules, without compromising their properties.

The researchers demonstrated the new approach using alkane-dithiol compounds comprised of carbon, hydrogen, and sulfur.

The new technique largely resolves issues that had hampered the creation of electrical contacts to molecules, like high contact resistance or short circuits by filaments penetrating the film.

"Our approach will help speed up the development of chemically fabricated and controllable electronic and sensor components," says Basel's Marcel Mayor.

From University of Basel
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