Molecular machine film changes chemical to electrical signal

From, coverage of work published in Advanced Materials [abstract]:

“A team of chemists from France, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the US are working together to bridge the gap between nanoscience and nanotechnology. They have now devised a method that could allow them to organize tiny molecular machines on a surface and so build devices that pack in thousands of times as many switching units, for instance, than is possible with a conventional silicon chip…

“By using two solutions—one containing the dumbbells and the other a soapy surfactant compound—the researchers were able to force the molecules to organize themselves because of electrostatic repulsion and attraction between the surfactant, the molecules, and the surface, until ultimately they became attached with the same orientation to the ITO layer on the glass slide…

“Ultimately, control using a light source or electricity will be required before such layers will be useful in the development of molecular computers, but this first small step to organizing molecular machines could lead to the required breakthrough.” Yet another step on the path to construction and control of useful molecular machine systems. —Christine

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