Feeds

Optical computing a step closer with SINGLE-MOLECULE LED

Strasborg boffins flash their light-emitting nanowire

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Researchers at IPCMS in Strasbourg, working with a team from the Institut Parisien de Chimie Moléculaire (CNRS/UPMC), have produced an LED that consists of a single molecule.

While it's unlikely ever to serve as a display, the molecular LED is an important step forward in miniaturising components to provide optical communications in molecular-scale computing, the researchers say.

To create the single-molecule LED, the group used a wire made of a substance that's already used in commercial LEDs, namely polythiophene, a compound of hydrogen, carbon and sulphur. One end of the polythiophene wire was attached to a scanning electron microscope, and the other end to a gold surface.

When a current was passed through the nanowire, it acted like all good LEDs and emitted photons. One photon was emitted for every 100,000 electrons injected into the wire, and the light it emitted was in the red range.

Nanowire electroluminescence

Artist's impression of the nanowire

LED setup. Image: Guillaume Schull, IPCMS

Light was only emitted with the current flowing from the microscope tip towards the gold surface. No light was emitted when the current was reversed (which demonstrates it's behaving like an LED and not merely getting hot enough to glow).

As a tool for physics research, the researchers say in a canned statement you can download here, “this device gives researchers a new tool to probe phenomena that are produced when an electrical conductor emits light and it does so at a scale where quantum physics takes precedence over classical physics.”

It's also a step towards combining electrical and optical properties in molecular-scale components, the researchers add. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.