Chemistry research could produce faster computers

July 11, 2006

Chemists at the University of Liverpool are helping to create future electronics based on molecules for faster and smaller computers.

Experts have been working for many years to understand how to work with electronic material produced on an increasingly small scale. In the emerging field of nano-science and nano-technologies it is important for scientists to be able to control the structure and bonding of molecules that are used in creating small scale electronic components for products such as computers.

Scientists at Liverpool have succeeded in imaging and forming a unique bond between a single gold atom and a single organic molecule called a pentacene. They managed to bind the atom to the pentacene and take images of rearrangements of the electrons participating in the formation of the chemical bond.

The team selected the pentacene as it is a special class of molecule that has qualities of particular use in molecular electronics. The gold atom is a metal atom that attracts an extra electron.

Professor Mats Persson, from the University's Department of Chemistry said: "This new experiment allows us to control the arrangement and shape of chemical bonds and to gain new insight into making contact with a single molecule with potential importance for molecular electronics. There will come a time when electronic material will become so small that we will need to control the structure down to the atomic scale and the chemical bonds between single molecules and atoms.

"The atomic scale control of single-molecule chemistry in this experiment opens up new perspectives in the emerging field of molecular electronics, particularly in connecting organic molecules with electronic components. This could be important in creating electronics for future computers which are faster, smaller and have less power consumption."

Source: University of Liverpool

Explore further: Rosetta shows how comet interacts with the solar wind

Related Stories

How to look for a few good catalysts

July 30, 2015

Two key physical phenomena take place at the surfaces of materials: catalysis and wetting. A catalyst enhances the rate of chemical reactions; wetting refers to how liquids spread across a surface.

Researchers build bacteria's photosynthetic engine

July 29, 2015

Nearly all life on Earth depends on photosynthesis, the conversion of light energy into chemical energy. Oxygen-producing plants and cyanobacteria perfected this process 2.7 billion years ago. But the first photosynthetic ...

Short wavelength plasmons observed in nanotubes

July 28, 2015

The term "plasmons" might sound like something from the soon-to-be-released new Star Wars movie, but the effects of plasmons have been known about for centuries. Plasmons are collective oscillations of conduction electrons ...

Recommended for you

Earliest evidence of reproduction in a complex organism

August 3, 2015

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge have found the earliest example of reproduction in a complex organism. Their new study has found that some organisms known as rangeomorphs, which lived 565 million years ago, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.