Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Carbon isotope controlled molecular switches
by Foster, Brian K., Ph.D., Stanford University, 2009, 105; 3351487
Abstract (Summary)

Single molecules represent one fundamental limit to the downscaling of electronics. As a prototype element for carbon-based nanoscale science and technology, the detailed behavior of carbon monoxide (CO) on the copper surface Cu(111) has been investigated. These investigations span from individual carbon isotope resolution, to single molecules, to compact clusters assembled by molecular manipulation via a homemade scanning tunneling microscope (STM).

Sub-nanoscale devices, composed of only a few molecules, which exploit both lone CO properties and molecule-molecule interaction, have been designed and assembled. The devices function as bi-stable switches and can serve as classical bits with densities > 50 Tbits/cm2. Operated in the nuclear mass sensitive regime, each switch can also function as a molecular "centrifuge" capable of identifying the isotope of a single carbon atom in real-time. A model, based on electron-vibron couping and inelastic tunneling, has been developed and explains the dynamic behavior of the switch. The interaction between pairs of switches was also explored and it was found that their behavior ranges from completely independent to strongly coupled. Larger nanostructures, which were composed of many sub-switches organized to leverage the fully coupled interaction, link two spatially separated "bits" on the surface. Such a linked system can set or read a state non-locally, which is equivalent to bidirectional information transfer. The linked system has also exhibited logic functionality.

These experiments demonstrate scalable molecular cells for information storage, and for information processing through cellular automata logic schemes.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Manoharan, Hari C.
School: Stanford University
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 70/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Electrical engineering, Molecular physics, Condensed matter physics
Keywords: Carbon isotopes, Carbon monoxide, Cellular automata, Molecular switches
Publication Number: 3351487
ISBN: 978-1-109-07735-3
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