Emulation of Molecular Programmability Using Microelectronics Programmable Devices Academic Article uri icon


  • We have built electronic devices capable of emulating the negative differential resistance (NDR) characteristics featured in some molecules proposed to be used as programmable electronic devices in nano processors and intelligent molecular nanosensors, among others. Using two of these emulating devices in series, we show experimentally that they yield programmable multiple-valued behavior. This validates early theoretical predictions whereby the multivalued behavior allowed molecules to be programmable, compensating for the lack of ability for physically addressing them due to their small size that is unreachable by present fabrication techniques such as photolithography. The earlier theoretical demonstration required of an experimental verification to confirm whether molecules can be programmed when they feature a strong nonlinear behavior such as NDR. The experiment, however, cannot be done using single molecules with present tools; therefore, an alternative proof can be performed combining theoretical first-principles calculations and experiments with macroscopic devices operating at very low frequencies. We fabricate the macroscopic devices, as no suitable semiconductor NDR device exists either. Therefore, in order to show the possibility of using single molecules as programmable devices, we experimentally prove that all states predicted by the theory can be found in the experiment. Certainly, these emulators are not a substitution of the quantum theory calculations, which actually complement the proof that molecules can be programmed to perform logical operations. 2009 American Chemical Society.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Gimenez, A. J., Luna-Barcenas, G., & Seminario, J. M.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Gimenez, Alejandro J||Luna-Barcenas, Gabriel||Seminario, Jorge M

publication date

  • September 2009