Mar 31, 2023

The modulation of a single-molecule electron source using light

Posted by in category: computing

Researchers at University of Tokyo, JTS PRESTO, Ludwig Maximilians Universität and Kindai University recently demonstrated the modulation of an electron source by applying laser light to a single fullerene molecule. Their study, featured in Physical Review Letters, could pave the way for the development of better performing computers and microscopic imaging devices.

“By irradiating a sharp metallic needle with , we had previously demonstrated optical control of electron emission sites on a scale of approximately 10 nm,” Hirofumi Yanagisawa, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org. “The optical control was achieved using plasmonic effects, but it was technically difficult to miniaturize such an electron source using the same principle. We were seeking a way to miniaturize the electron source and we hit upon the idea of using a and its molecular orbitals.”

Yanagisawa and his colleagues set out to realize their idea experimentally using electrons emitted from molecules on a sharp metallic needle. However, they were well-aware of the difficulties they would encounter, due to unresolved difficulties associated with the use of electron emissions from molecule-covered needles.

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