Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - MOLESCO (MOLECULAR-SCALE ELECTRONICS: Concepts, Contacts and Stability "MOLESCO")

MOLESCO ITN Project number 606728
Publishable Summary for the period 01/01/2014 to 31/12/2015

Project Objectives:
There are four closely integrated S&T objectives (O1-O4) which will be delivered through four Work Packages (WP1-4). To ensure the delivery of these objectives, the consortium will implement a highly-integrated approach with embedded training in the experimental and theoretical aspects of molecular electronics. Our objectives are:
• O1. Design and synthesis of new functional molecules with anchor groups tailored to the chosen electrode.
• O2. Fabrication of electrode–molecule–electrode junctions using Pt, Pd or graphene electrodes.
• O3. Mechanical and electrical stability of single-molecule junctions, probed using atomic force microscopy (AFM), break-junction and STM measurements, combined with first principles theory.
• O4. Control of charge transport and switching in molecular junctions via a gate electrode, electric field in a two-terminal geometry or electrochemical gating.

Description of the work performed.
The existing collaborations between many of the MOLESCO partners, as a result of their participation in the previous FP7 ITN “FUNMOLS” (project number 212942) have been of great benefit in enabling the MOLESCO consortium to make rapid progress from the start of the project. Excellent progress has been established during the first two years in all aspects of the project with the planned milestones and deliverables being achieved towards all of the objectives listed above. The project has considerable momentum in the implementation of the training and transfer of knowledge, research outputs, and development of impact and visibility at the European level. A large number of highly collaborative and intersectoral projects are underway.

The main results achieved so far.
• New molecules have been synthesized with redox-active core units, and molecules designed to probe different possible pathways of conduction between to electrodes in electrode-molecule-electrode assemblies. Molecules have been synthesized which exploit quantum interference to modulate their conduction behaviour: STM break junction data have been supported by theoretical calculations. Graphene has been covalently modified with fullerene derivatives. Few-layer graphene devices have been fabricated by electroburning and molecules inserted into the gaps. STM images have been obtained of molecular structures covalently embedded into graphene nanoribbons. Simultaneous thermopower and conductance measurements have been obtained on fullerenes. A modified UHV-STM setup has been developed in the unique Noise Free labs at IBM Zurich. The goal here is to combine thermal and electrical measurement in order to simultaneously extract the thermal and electrical conductance. Control of charge transport and switching has been achieved in single-molecule junctions by embedding redox-active or spin cross-over moieties within the molecules.
• To date about 70 publications from the consortium have been published in peer-reviewed journals, or are in press, reporting work undertaken within the framework of MOLESCO. Many of these publications involve two or more Network partners. These include articles in high impact international journals such as Journal of the American Chemical Society, NanoLetters, Nanoscale, Nature Communications, Nature Materials, and Chemical Society Reviews. The publication list from our activities is available on the MOLESCO website:

Expected final results and their potential impact and use.
It is widely acknowledged that within the next 10-15 years the fundamental size limitations of silicon-based technology will need to be overcome by a bottom-up approach. A transition to sub-10 nm electronics will require new materials and new devices, for which molecular-electronic materials have high promise. Attractive features of such materials include intrinsic functionalities integrated into their molecular structure and the availability of identical building blocks defined at the atomic scale. It is expected that MOLESCO will take molecular electronics far beyond the current state-of-the-art and will deliver: (i) a comprehensive understanding of electron transport and switching in molecular junctions with metal or graphene electrodes; and (ii) new paradigms for single-molecule electronics, which overcome recognised roadblocks and deliver unprecedented molecular-scale switching functionality. By bringing together world-leading experts in molecular- and nano-electronics, MOLESCO will ensure that a cohort of researchers gain the most-up-to-date knowledge and skills for a technology in which conventional silicon technology is supplemented and eventually replaced by sub-10 nm nanoelectronic building blocks

This ITN will link the activities of world-leading pan-European groups and train researchers in an area of nanotechnology with immense potential for new discoveries and future wealth creation. The strong combination of academic and private sector partners provides the critical mass needed for wide ranging impact. The ITN will:
• Enhance the EU’s basic understanding of future molecular-scale electronics.
• Increase the efficiency of pre-competitive research.
• Train the next generation of researchers in a wide breadth of interdisciplinary and intersectoral scientific and transferable skills. “Well-developed human resources in R&D are the cornerstone of advancement in scientific knowledge and technological progress” (The European Charter for Researchers).
• Reduce fragmentation and ensure long-term cohesion of molecular electronic research in Europe.
• Increase the awareness of the general public to advances in nanoscience and technology.


Wendy Harle, (Director fo Research Office)
Tel.: +44 1913344635
Fax: +44 1913344634


Life Sciences
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top