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How organic molecules can control electronic devices

How organic molecules can control electronic devices

Trends in Biotechnology 20(1): 22-29

This article examines a somewhat counter-intuitive approach to molecular-based electronic devices. Control over the electronic energy levels at the surfaces of conventional semiconductors and metals is achieved by assembling on the solid surfaces, poorly organized, partial monolayers (MLs) of molecules instead of the more commonly used ideal ones. Once those surfaces become interfaces, these layers exert electrostatic rather than electrodynamic control over the resulting devices, based on both electrical monopole and dipole effects of the molecules. Thus electronic transport devices, incorporating molecules, can be constructed without current flow through the molecules. This is illustrated for a gallium arsenide (GaAs) sensor as well as for gold-silicon (Au-Si) and Au-GaAs diodes. Incorporating molecules into solid interfaces becomes possible, using a 'soft' electrical contacting procedure, so as not to damage the molecules. Because there are only a few molecular restrictions, this approach opens up possibilities for the use of more complex (including biologically active) molecules as it circumvents requirements for ideal MLs and for molecules that can tolerate actual electron transport through them.

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Accession: 010762906

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1016/s0167-7799(01)01839-x

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