Nanotechnology: Molecular transistors scrutinized
Transistors have been made from single molecules, where the flow of electrons is controlled by modulating the energy of the molecular orbitals. Insight from such systems could aid the development of future electronic devices.
Transistors, the fundamental elements of integrated circuits, control the flow of current between two electrodes (the source and drain electrodes) by modifying the voltage applied at a third electrode (the gate electrode). As manufacturers compete to produce ever smaller devices, one logical limit to circuit miniaturization is transistors whose channels are defined by a single molecule.
- James Kushmerick is at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, USA.