Molecular self-assembly on a metal results in a high-density, 2D, organic quantum-dot array with electric-field-controllable charge state, with the organic molecules used as 'nano-sized building blocks' in fabrication of functional nanomaterials.
Achieved densities are an order of magnitude larger than conventional inorganic systems.
Nanofilm - Array - Molecules - Entities - Dots
The atomically-thin nanofilm consists of an ordered two-dimensional (2D) array of molecules which behave as 'zero dimensional' entities called quantum dots (QDs).
This system has exciting implications for fields such as computer memory, light-emitting devices and quantum computing.
School - Physics - Astronomy - Study - Array
The School of Physics and Astronomy study shows that a single-component, self-assembled 2D array of the organic (carbon-based) molecule dicyanoanthracene can be synthesised on a metal, such that the charge state of each molecule can be controlled individually via an applied electric field.
"This discovery would enable the fabrication of 2D arrays of individually addressable (switchable) quantum dots from the bottom-up, via self-assembly, says lead author Dhaneesh Kumar.
Densities - Tens - Times - Systems
"We would be able to achieve densities tens of times larger than state-of-the-art, top-down synthesised inorganic systems."
Quantum dots are extremely small -- about one nanometre across (ie, a millionth of a millimetre).
Size - Wavelength - Electrons - Properties - Materials
Because their size is similar to the wavelength of electrons, their electronic properties are radically different to conventional materials.
In quantum dots, the motion of electrons is constrained by this extremely small scale, resulting in discrete electronic quantum energy levels.
Objects - Degree - Occupancy - States - Charge
Effectively, they behave as 'zero-dimensional' (0D) objects, where the degree of occupancy (filled or empty) of their quantised electronic states determines the charge (in this study, neutral or negative) of the quantum dot.
Ordered arrays of charge-controllable quantum dots can...
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