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MOLSPINTRON Report Summary

Project ID: 308051
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Germany

Mid-Term Report Summary - MOLSPINTRON (Synthetic Expansion of Magnetic Molecules Into Spintronic Devices)

The project aims at a bottom-up alternative to the current state-of-the-art break-junction approach to single-molecule electronic and spintronic devices. Such molecular devices are expected to deliver a technological boost for future information technology, as such devices promise significantly increased energy efficiency and genuinely novel switching functionality when compared to classical CMOS devices. To harness this potential, we need to access both charge- and spin-transport characteristics of individual magnetic molecules. The challenge here is to contact these molecules in a reproducible manner with atomic precision, both with conducting and non-conducting electrodes. Our approach exploits the stability and structural versatility of magnetically functionalized molecular metal oxides (so-called polyoxometalates), where these crucial contact groups are pre-fabricated by means of chemical synthesis. In the project we start with the contact modes of the most fundamental microelectronic device type, namely a transistor. Here we need to realize metallic Source, metallic Drain and non-conducting Gate contacts that all are required to meet the molecule at precise positions of the molecule's surface.
In the first reporting period were able to pave the way for such multiple molecule-electrode contact that allow contacting discrete molecules in four-tip scanning tunneling microscopy measurements. These measurements will, for the first time, allow to assess the correlation of molecular charge and spin states that are at the heart of molecular spintronics. The ongoing project is structured into four parallel working packages which all aim at bridging the typical nanometer-scaled environments of CMOS structures to the significantly smaller molecular scale, and a string of proof-of-concept results has thus far reaffirmed the project's working hypotheses.

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