1992 – Mark S. Wrighton

New Materials, New Phenomena: What’s Real in Molecular Electronics?

New materials have unique properties and associated phenomena of importance in new applications. “Molecular electronics” is an area of possible application for new molecular materials. Functionalization of the surfaces of closely spaced (about one micron), ultrasmall (2 x 50 microns), individually addressable gold wires with molecular materials has allowed the demonstration of molecule-based diodes and transistors. Such “devices” have unique characteristics stemming from the properties of the device-active molecular materials. The combination of polyaniline–and a poly(3-phenylthiophene)–based transistor will be shown to yield a distortion free push-pull amplifier. Unfortunately, such molecule-based devices are not fast, ultimately limited by ion motion. While not fast by solid state semiconductor device standards, the unique characteristics of the molecule-based system may be of practical consequence in some applications such as sensors.