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Developing single-molecule switches for applications in nanoscale organic devices (Single-Molec-Switch)
Start date: Oct 15, 2013, End date: Oct 14, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Today, one of the central themes in the Nanoscience is Molecular Electronics which relies on the ability to measure and control electrical current through molecular scaffolds. As in the case of conventional semiconductor electronics that took several decades of research to reach commercial applications, the concept of using few molecules or even a single molecule as active components in electronic devices is now closer to reality. Molecular Electronics research continues in deepening our understanding of the properties of single molecules and is anticipated to lead to novel organic (opto)-electronic devices. However, the question remains “when will this fundamental science turn into a commercial technology?” The answer for this question is “soon”. However, this field is still in its infancy and there are several unsolved issues, the most critical one being optimizing molecular contacts with electrodes and controlling current flow through molecular junctions.In this project, we propose to use STM break-junction approaches to measure the properties of single molecules using novel molecular anchoring chemistries to bridge molecules between electrodes. In particular, we intend to integrate newly developed surface chemistry reactions to go a step further in the stability of molecular junctions. Further, we intend to investigate conducting electrodes other than the common gold electrodes because the latter are not ideal for commercial applications. With the opportunity of having robust and low contact-resistance molecule-electrode interfaces, we intend to control the electrical flow through single molecules using electrochemical, light irradiation, solvent and mechanical stress stimuli. This project is hoped to gain fundamental insights into the electrical properties of single molecules, develop novel molecular switches and bring the Molecular Electronics field a step further towards real applications.
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