Molecular Electronics

In the near future, conventional lithography based electronics approaches the limits of possible miniaturization. One of the technologically favorable tracks for further development is based on molecular electronics. A microscopic electronic device with individual molecules acting as transistors or diodes that interface to the macroscopic world through, for example an electric contact to a macroscopic electrode, is proposed as a building block for future electronics. This raises a problem: how will a molecule connected to two metal electrodes conduct electric current?

Another problem is molecular architecture: although molecular networks acting as memory have already been developed, e.g., by Hewlett Packard, it is believed that more advanced functions will be prohibited because of too tough requirements on the placement of individual molecules.