Graphene Nanoribbons Reach Out to the Molecular World

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For the first time, the magnetic porphyrin molecule critical to animal and plant life has been directly connected to an electronic circuit

A collaboration among Spanish research institutes—led by the nanoGUNE Cooperative Research Center (CIC)—has made a significant breakthrough in so-called molecular electronics by devising a way to connect magnetic porphyrin molecules to graphene nanoribbons. These connections may be another example of how graphene could enable the potential of molecular electronics.

Porphyrin is a hemogloblin-like molecule that is responsible for making photosynthesis possible in plants and transporting oxygen in our blood. But recently, researchers have been experimenting with so-called magnetic porphyrins and discovered that they can form the basis of spintronic devices.

Spintronics involves manipulating the spin of electrons and in this way differs from conventional electronics that manipulates their movement. It is this spin that is responsible for magnetism: When a majority of electrons in a material have their spins pointing in the same direction, the material is magnetized. If you can move all the spins up or down and can read that direction, you can create the foundation of the “0” and “1” of digital logic.

The full article is available below.

Source:  IEEE Spectrum

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