Electronic devices, when shrunk to the molecular scale, display prominent quantum effects. Within the QuEEN programme we will develop the scientific understanding and technological know-how needed to exploit these quantum effects for reduced-energy computing, molecular recognition, universal memory and thermoelectric recovery of energy. Our efforts will concentrate on the underpinning science of stable and reproducible devices, consisting of single molecules connected to graphene electrodes, with the potential for scalable production. We aim to harness quantum interference in these devices by pursuing five complementary research challenges:
- How can quantum interference in a molecule be controlled by an electrostatic gate?
- Can spintronic effects provide superior molecular devices?
- Can quantum interference be used to achieve high thermoelectric effects?
- What are the performance limits for a single-molecule transistor?
- Can we make single molecule devices that work in ambient conditions?
To address these challenges we have brought together a highly interdisciplinary team of investigators from the University of Oxford (Department of Materials and Department of Chemistry) and Lancaster University (Physics Department). The QuEEN
programme combines chemical synthesis, nanofabrication, measurement, and theory, and strongly relies on the interactions between these different areas of expertise.