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The next step in molecular electronics: Creation and investigation of a single-molecule circuit with atomic precision (AtomicScaleCircuit)
Start date: Sep 1, 2013, End date: Aug 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

My name is Christian Wagner; I am a physicist with six years of postgraduate research experience. With this proposal I apply for a one year Marie Curie fellowship in the group of Prof. Dr. Jan van Ruitenbeek at Leiden University (Netherlands).The primary aspect of the proposed project is the fabrication and investigation of a nanoscopic electronic circuit that is defined down to the atomic scale. Our project aims to create a new landmark in the field of molecular electronics. Different from state-of-the-art model systems where molecules are connected to macroscopic electrodes, we will connect a single functional molecule to monoatomic gold chains; the thinnest wires possible. The primary experimental techniques which will be employed in the realization of this project are scanning tunnelling microscopy and manipulation for the fabrication, and dI/dV transport spectroscopy, inelastic electron tunnelling spectroscopy and shot noise measurements for the investigation of the circuit. Our project is intended to create a new paradigm for the field of molecular electronics: The atom-by-atom assembly of a wire-like nanostructure on a flat surface, and the subsequent lifting of this structure into a free-standing configuration where its charge transport characteristics can be studied. The well-defined molecule-wire contacts will allow a conclusive comparison to ab-initio calculations. Apart from being an advanced model systems, the proposed structure could be the next step towards a real molecular-electronics device, e.g., if placed in a cross-bar architecture.
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