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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/S47793/01
Title: SHUTTLE Nanoelectronics: Giving the Electrons a Ride
Principal Investigator: Gordeev, Dr S
Other Investigators:
Bending, Professor SJ Raithby, Professor PR Nogaret, Professor A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Chalmers University of Technology
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of Bath
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 February 2004 Ends: 31 January 2007 Value (£): 288,214
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Electronics
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
In this project we propose to explore a completely new approach to overcome the problem of controllable charge transfer in nanostructures. A new mechanism involving a nanoscale shuttle junction has been proposed theoretically, but has not been evaluated experimentally. We propose to fabricate, and evaluate, this revolutionary shuttle junction that consists of a metal cluster or nanoparticle connected by two flexible, long chain organic molecules to two nanoelectrodes. The flexible molecules act as tiny springs that allow the nanoparticle to vibrate between the electrodes. The vibration is initiated by applying a sufficiently large bias to the electrodes. This will induce the tunnelling of electrons from the negative electrode to the nanoparticle. Because of the Coulomb blockage effect only a limited number of electrons can be transferred onto the particle and the number is related to the size of the particle, so that with particles with dimensions in the range 1 - 3 nm only one electron will be transferred at once. Under the influence of the applied electrostatic field, the particle will then move to the positive electrode , load a positive charge, and bring it back to the negative electrode. This charging-recharging process will repeat cyclically giving rise to a current through the nanostructure that is proportional to the vibrational frequency. With nanoparticles in the 1 - 5 nm range the shuttle should work at room temperature. One main advantage of this shuttle jucntion over other single-electron devices is that only one tunnelling barrier is open at once, and this leads to the suppression of co-tunnelling effects. Also, the current through the junction and its operating frequency can be tuned by changing the mass of the particle and the elasticity of the linker molecules.
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Organisation Website: http://www.bath.ac.uk