Molecular scale electronics
|Part of a series of articles on|
|Solid state nanoelectronics|
Molecular scale electronics, also called single-molecule electronics, is a branch of
The field is often termed simply as "
Conventional electronics have traditionally been made from bulk materials. Ever since their invention in 1958, the performance and complexity of
In single-molecule electronics, the bulk material is replaced by single molecules. Instead of forming structures by removing or applying material after a pattern scaffold, the atoms are put together in a chemistry lab. In this way, billions of billions of copies are made simultaneously (typically more than 1020 molecules are made at once) while the composition of molecules are controlled down to the last atom. The molecules used have properties that resemble traditional electronic components such as a
Single-molecule electronics is an emerging field, and entire electronic circuits consisting exclusively of molecular sized compounds are still very far from being realized. However, the unceasing demand for more computing power, along with the inherent limits of lithographic methods as of 2016, make the transition seem unavoidable. Currently, the focus is on discovering molecules with interesting properties and on finding ways to obtain reliable and reproducible contacts between the molecular components and the bulk material of the electrodes.