January 21, 2013

Stand tall and keep cool

A team of scientists from Tyndall National Institute at University College Cork and the National University of Singapore have designed and fabricated ultra-small devices for energy-efficient electronics. By finding out how molecules behave in these devices, a ten-fold increase in switching efficiency was obtained by changing just one carbon atom. These devices could provide new ways to combat overheating in mobile phones and laptops, and could also aid in electrical stimulation of tissue repair for wound healing. The breakthrough creation of molecular devices with highly controllable electrical properties will appear in the February issue of Nature Nanotechnology (Advance Online Publication doi:10.1038/nnano.2012.238). Dr. Damien Thompson at the Tyndall National Institute, UCC and a team of researchers at the National University of Singapore led by Prof. Chris Nijhuis designed and created the devices, which are based on molecules acting as electrical valves, or diode rectifiers.