soon: molecular keyboard?
In the race for smaller and smaller electronic components,
Man-Kit Ng, SM'97, PhD'02, and chemistry professor Luping
Yu have made a gigantic leap forward. The pair created a
molecular diode—an electrical component that conducts electricity
in one direction—by chemically bonding two electrically
opposed compounds made mostly of hydrogen and carbon, embedding
them in a sheet only one molecule thick, and then transferring
the sheet to a gold platform. The resulting diode, approximately
12 atoms wide, could be the first in a move toward smaller,
simpler, and thus faster transistors—which are made by placing
two diodes back to back. Yu and Ng describe their work in
the October 2 Angewandte Chemie and the online September
12 Journal of the American Chemical Society.