|Apr 04, 2019|
Ushering in ultrafast cluster electronics(Nanowerk News) Hokkaido University researchers have developed a computational method that can predict how clusters of molecules behave and interact over time, providing critical insight for future electronics.
|Their findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports ("Water-accelerated π-Stacking Reaction in Benzene Cluster Cation"), could lead to the creation of a new field of science called cluster molecular electronics.|
|When light is applied to the T-shaped benzene cluster in their computer simulation, they reorganized themselves into a single stack, changing its electrical conductivity. The addition of a molecule of water made the stacking occur significantly faster. (© Scientific Reports)|
|Single molecule electronics is a relatively new, rapidly progressing branch of nanotechnology using individual molecules as electronic components in devices. Now, Hiroto Tachikawa and colleagues at Hokkaido University in Japan have developed a computational approach that can predict how clusters of molecules behave over time, which could help launch a new field of study for cluster molecule electronics. Their approach combines two methods traditionally used for quantum chemical and molecular dynamic calculations.|
|They used their method to predict the changes in a computer-simulated cluster of benzene molecules over time. When light is applied to the T-shaped benzene clusters, they reorganize themselves into a single stack; an interaction known as pi-stacking. This modification from one shape to another changes the cluster’s electrical conductivity, making it act like an on-off switch.|
|The team then simulated the addition of a molecule of water to the cluster and found that pi-stacking happened significantly faster. This pi-stacking is also reversible, which would allow switching back and forth between the on and off modes.|
|In contrast, previous studies had shown that the addition of a molecule of water to a single molecule electronic device impedes its performance.|
|“Our findings could usher in a new field of study that investigates the electronic performance of different numbers, types and combinations of molecular clusters, potentially leading to the development of cluster molecule electronic devices,” Tachikawa commented.|
|Source: Hokkaido University|
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