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Ibm's Molecular Images May Help Nanoscale Circuits

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Fabian Mohn

IBM researcher Fabian Mohn used Kelvin probe microscopy to take images of electrons moving around a molecule.

Credit: IBM

IBM researchers have succeeded in imaging how charge is distributed inside a single molecule, a breakthrough that could lead to nanometer-scale circuits.

IBM's Fabian Mohn says their research is a step toward understanding, controlling, and altering molecular structures in electrical devices. The development also is a step forward in understanding the efficiency of a molecular structure as a switch, diode, or transistor, says University of California, Berkeley professor Michael Crommie.

He notes IBM's technique is a diagnostic tool that enables researchers to better characterize small structures. The tool could help researchers create more effective graphene devices through modifications at an atomic level.

Last year IBM developed a graphene transistor that can execute 155 billion cycles per second, which was about 50 percent faster than previous transistors developed by the company's researchers. Mohn says the next step could be to build on the technique further and to connect molecules, with the ultimate goal of building electronic devices based on the technology.

From IDG News Service 
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