Suggestion for nano-alligatorclip wins poster award – University of Copenhagen

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07 January 2011

Suggestion for nano-alligatorclip wins poster award

The scientific poster was handsome and the suggestion of how to contact a molecular wire was sound. That's why chemist Titoo Jain was awarded a "Best poster award" at the 5th international meeting on molecular electronics (ElecMol'10) in Grenoble, France.

By Jes Andersen

Jain is studying for his PhD at the Nano-Science Centre under the Department of Chemistry. He had visualized a method to persuade crystals of gold to grow out from molecules that might function as wires in the molecular electronics of the future. This is one of the core undertakings of the European Union project SINGLE of which Jains research is a part.

If the method succeeds it will become a lot easier to take measurements on molecular devices. One of the most difficult aspects of working within molecular electronics is to attach "alligator clips" to the miniscule wires, solder joints, transistors and resistors when trying to ascertain that they actually do what they are supposed to be doing. But there's still work to do.

"I've succeded in making gold grow from a "boring" molecule. In other words one that wont work electronically. Next step will be to make the method work with a real molecular device", explains Titoo Jain.

Unfortunately transferring the method to another class of molecules is no mundane task. Jains method worked in an aqueous solution but molecular electronic devices are rarely if ever water soluble. But Titoo has an idea.

"I'll wrap my active molecule in cyklodextrine. That's a hydrofobe on the inside and hydrophile on the outside. Using that, I'll achieve two ends ant once. I'll get my molecule in aqeous solution while protecting it from the sorroundings at the same time", says Jain.

Titoo Jains poster award was sponsored by periodical New Journal of Chemistry.