How Molecular Electronics Can Change The Way We Make Electronic Components

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  2. March 24, 2014 4:27 am

How Molecular Electronics Can Change The Way We Make Electronic Components

Molecular electronics consists of using molecular building blocks to create various types of electronic components. Molecules are the smallest stable building blocks that we can currently manipulate and if we find a way to turn them into usable components, significant advances can be made to various types of electronic devices that are used in the world today.

Currently, the majority of electronic devices are built from a “top down” perspective. We take bulk materials and then shape them so they can help perform the necessary functions. The scientific progress involved in creating electronic components is undeniable. One just has to consider that an ordinary smartphone now has more memory and processing power than even the most advanced computer built 30 years ago. While advances continue to be made in materials science and we are still getting better at adapting bulk materials for different purposes, the top down approach that is currently used has certain limitations. We’re coming to a point where it is getting increasingly harder to miniaturize electrical circuits and the costs of research needed to find new ways to modify materials are increasing.

With molecular electronics, components are built from a “bottom up” perspective instead. We can create components by building them up atom by atom. The molecules that are used would have properties that resemble common components, such as wires and transistors, but would have certain advantages over components that are currently used. They could be much smaller and also use energy in a significantly more efficient way. Scientists are now hard at work trying to find molecules that would have useful properties and that could be reproduced on a wider scale.

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