PerspectiveMaterials Science

Expanding the Molecular Electronics Toolbox

Science  01 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5731, pp. 67-68
DOI: 10.1126/science.1114663

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Summary

Molecular electronics aims to build functional devices on the scale of individual molecules. The development of such devices requires accurate measurement and control of the electronic properties of individual molecules; in practice, this means that electrical "leads" must be attached to two ends of a molecule. In their Perspective, Martin and Baker highlight a highly successful approach toward facilitating such measurements. The method, called on-wire lithography, is reported by Qin et al. and yields nanowires with a gap into which a molecule can in principle be inserted. The method allows the size of the gap to be controlled with high accuracy, removing one obstacle to accurate single-molecule electrical measurements.

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