Most electronic devices made today use transistors as their smallest functional building blocks. Since their invention in the 1940s, their size has shrunk from the macroscopic scale to the current day transistor which has a characteristic dimension under twenty nanometers. Further miniaturization requires new basic understanding of electronic transport, as well as innovative mechanisms for controlling electron transfer at these reduced, nanometer, dimensions. The ultimate miniaturization of devices will likely involve structures at the atomic scale, thus devices created using single-molecule elements will provide a basic test bed for probing fundamental science of nanometer sized circuits. In this talk, I will review measurement techniques used create single-molecule circuits and then present our results illustrating how a diode with a high on/off ratio can be created.
This lecture is part of Modern Trends in Electron Transfer Chemistry: From Molecular Electronics to Devices