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Ryan Chiechi is awarded ERC Starting Grant

11 June 2013

Dr Ryan Chiechi was awarded an ERC starting grant for his research proposal: Controlling Tunnelling Charge Transport with Organic Synthesis.

The goal of the project is to bring simple nanofabrication to molecular-electronic devices; to bridge the gap between Physics and Chemistry in Molecular Electronics. Spin-coating and vapor deposition have made measuring bulk transport phenomena of, for example, conjugated polymers a straightforward endeavor, however, the measurement tunneling currents through individual molecules has yet to benefit from this level of simplicity. There is a plethora of sophisticated, top-down spectroscopic tools for investigating the properties of molecules in tunneling junctions, but a paucity of simple, accessible tools for rapidly screening and characterizing target molecules for potentially interesting functionality. We are developing two tools: conformal top-contacts of eutectic Ga-In (EGaIn) and SAM-templated addressable nanogaps (STANs), which we fabricating using Nanoskiving, a form of mechanical edge lithography. Both of these tools fabricate tunneling junctions from the bottom-up, allowing the molecules themselves to define the smallest dimensions of the tunneling junctions via self-assembly. With these tools, we would like measuring the properties of molecules in tunneling junctions to become as routine for chemists as NMR. Such accessibility would allow physical-organic studies on large series of molecules to be performed directly by synthetic chemists who could rapidly identify interesting targets and elucidate new behaviors, enabling the control of tunneling charge-transport with organic synthesis.
Last modified:04 July 2014 9.37 p.m.

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