Journal of Electrical Engineering and Electronic Technology.ISSN: 2325-9833

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Molecular Electronics

Molecular electronics is the study and application of molecular building blocks for the fabrication of electronic components. It is an interdisciplinary area that spans physics, chemistry, and materials science. The unifying feature is the use of molecular building blocks for the fabrication of electronic components. Due to the prospect of size reduction in electronics offered by molecular-level control of properties, molecular electronics has generated much excitement. Molecular electronics provides a potential means to extend Moore's Law beyond the foreseen limits of small-scale conventional silicon integrated circuits. Molecular scale electronics, also called single molecule electronics, is a branch of nanotechnology that uses single molecules, or nanoscale collections of single molecules, as electronic components. Because single molecules constitute the smallest stable structures possible, this miniaturization is the ultimate goal for shrinking electrical circuits. Conventional electronic devices are traditionally made from bulk materials. The bulk approach has inherent limitations in addition to becoming increasingly demanding and expensive. Thus, the idea was born that the components could instead be built up atom for atom in a chemistry lab (bottom up) as opposed to carving them out of bulk material (top down). In single molecule electronics, the bulk material is replaced by single molecules. That is, instead of creating structures by removing or applying material after a pattern scaffold, the atoms are put together in a chemistry lab. The molecules utilized have properties that resemble traditional electronic components such as a wire, transistor or rectifier. Single molecule electronics is an emerging field, and entire electronic circuits consisting exclusively of molecular sized compounds are still very far from being realized. However, the continuous demand for more computing power together with the inherent limitations of the present day lithographic methods make the transition seem unavoidable. Currently, the focus is on discovering molecules with interesting properties and on finding ways to obtaining reliable and reproducible contacts between the molecular components and the bulk material of the electrodes. Molecular electronics operates in the quantum realm of distances less than 100 nanometers. Miniaturization down to single molecules brings the scale down to a regime where quantum effects are important. As opposed to the case in conventional electronic components, where electrons can be filled in or drawn out more or less like a continuous flow of charge, the transfer of a single electron alters the system significantly. The significant amount of energy due to charging has to be taken into account when making calculations about the electronic properties of the setup and is highly sensitive to distances to conducting surfaces nearby. One of the biggest hindrances for single molecule electronics to be commercially exploited is the lack of techniques to connect a molecular sized circuit to bulk electrodes in a way that gives reproducible results. Also problematic is the fact that some measurements on single molecules are carried out in cryogenic temperatures (close to absolute zero) which is very energy consuming. Journal of Electrical Engineering and Electronic Technology is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal in the field of electrical engineering and electronics that aims to publish the most complete and reliable source of information on the discoveries and current developments in the mode of research articles, review articles, case reports, short communications, etc. in all areas of electrical engineering and electronics and making them accessible online freely without any restrictions or any other subscriptions to researchers worldwide.

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