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J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Oct 29;125(43):13279-83.

NanoCell electronic memories.

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  • 1Departments of Chemistry and Computer Science, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA.


NanoCells are disordered arrays of metallic islands that are interlinked with molecules between micrometer-sized metallic input/output leads. In the past, simulations had been conducted showing that the NanoCells may function as both memory and logic devices that are programmable postfabrication. Reported here is the first assembly of a NanoCell with disordered arrays of molecules and Au islands. The assembled NanoCells exhibit reproducible switching behavior and two types of memory effects at room temperature. The switch-type memory is characteristic of a destructive read, while the conductivity-type memory features a nondestructive read. Both types of memory effects are stable for more than a week at room temperature, and bit level ratios (0:1) of the conductivity-type memory have been observed to be as high as 10(4):1 and reaching 10(6):1 upon ozone treatment, which likely destroys extraneous leakage pathways. Both molecular electronic and nanofilamentary metal switching mechanisms have been considered, though the evidence points more strongly toward the latter. The approach here demonstrates the efficacy of a disordered nanoscale array for high-yielding switching and memory while mitigating the arduous task of nanoscale patterning.

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