Condensed Matter Physics Seminar

2 p.m., Thursday, March 1, 2007
Room 1201, Physics Building

 Novel Nanofabrication Techniques for Molecular Electronics

Etienne De Poortere

(Columbia University)

Abstract:  Molecular electronics seeks to reach the ultimate limit in the fabrication of nanometer-scale devices, by bringing together individual organic molecules and inorganic materials acting as electrodes. Through the seemingly endless variety of carbon-based molecules we can fashion, organic chemistry has already revolutionized the world we live in and the objects we use; single-molecule switches and sensors may one day bring their own revolution as well. In the meantime, we need to address basic questions such as the nature of contacts between molecules and metal electrodes or how molecular states are affected by their inclusion into solid-state devices. From a practical point of view, the "alligator clips" used to contact molecules need to be made with as much precision and reproducibility as possible.

In this talk, I will present several new nanogap fabrication methods, including one utilizing single-walled carbon nanotubes as shadow masks to create electrodes separated by only a few nanometers. I will discuss the behavior of these nanogaps prior to and after molecule assembly, in terms of electron transport. Finally, I will present our ongoing research towards making single-molecule transistors resolvable by scanning probe techniques, such as with the scanning tunneling microscope (STM).

Host:  Fuhrer
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