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Molecular Scale Electronics: Syntheses and Testing

James M. Tour*

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of South Carolina

This is an abstract for a talk to be given at the Fifth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.

Synthetic organic routes to precisely defined conjugated macromolecules (molecular scale wires) will be described using solution and solid phase approaches. The molecular scale wires are based on poly(phenylene ethynylene)s and poly(thiophene ethynylene)s and they possess thiol end groups to function as molecular scale alligator clips. Ordering of these molecular scale wires on gold surfaces has been studied by ellipsometry, XPS, and grazing angle IR. Experimental approaches will be described for isolating some of these single molecules in alkane thiolate self-assembled monolayers and addressing them with an STM probe. Single molecule conductance has been measured using a mechanically controllable break junction. These experiments demonstrate single molecule conductivity and they are a prelude to the testing of molecular scale devices. Some potential molecular scale structures that have been synthesized are wires with tunnel barriers, wires with quantum wells, three terminal systems which could act as transistors, and four terminal systems that can be actual logic devices. Scenarios will be outlined wherein a single molecule could function as a logic device rather than the traditional use of multiple transistors. The enormous potential and obstacles of molecular scale electronic architectures will be discussed.

*Corresponding Address:
James M. Tour, Lipscomb Professor of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
Phone: 803-777-9517; Fax: 803-777-9521
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