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article imageSee why nanowires are the future of electronics

By Tim Sandle     Jun 20, 2017 in Technology
Barcelona - The current consumer demand for small-sized electronic devices requires new approaches for their design. One answer is nanowires, according to scientists from the University of the Basque Country.
Nanowires are nanostructures of a very small (nano-) size. At these scales, quantum mechanical effects occur which impart nanowires with special properties (electrons and photons within these nanowires experience what are called “quantum confinement effects”). Molecular nanowires are composed of repeating molecular units either organic or inorganic.
Many different applications of nanowires exist, such as superconductors and semiconductors. Nanowires are believed to be important elements in several different areas, such as in future generations of transistors, energy efficient light emitting diodes (LEDs) and solar cells.
While nanowires have a theoretical interest they are also practical and many technologists see the growing demand for increasingly smaller electronic devices as requiring the production of circuits whose components need to be as tiny as possible. To achieve this, new types of designs are required.
This new design approach is in the form of molecular electronics and the solution is seen as nanowires. In this context, nanowires are conducting wires on a molecular scale designed to carry the current inside the circuits. For this, highly efficient wires are important.
To advance the process, a new suite of nanowires have been developed by Aurelio Mateo (University of the Basque Country). The researcher has found that folding processes play an important role in the development of function in biomacromolecules. Inspired this, he proceeded to recreate this on synthetic systems. These are termed “conformationally ordered synthetic oligomers” or foldamers, for short.
Further study showed the optimal shape to be a folded sigmoidal conformation. This is created through the manipulation of hydrogen bonds. The optimal folding process opens up an efficient through-space charge transport channel and a highly efficient charge transport, paving the way for developments with small-scale electronics.
The report into the feasibility of nanowires has been made to the journal Nature Communications. The report is titled “High conductance values in π-folded molecular junctions.”
In related research nanowires have a use in electronic data storage. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati have been looking at nanotechnology to solve the bottleneck that occurs in storing or retrieving digital data.
More about nanowires, Electronics, wearables, Physics
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