Faculty Candidate Seminar

A Systematic Study of Molecular Electronics:

Dr. Yi Luo

The field of molecular electronics, where molecules are used as active components in electronic circuits, provides promising approaches for building ultra-small, energy efficient, and very fast devices for memory and logic applications. In recent years, a substantial amount of interest has been drawn to this attractive and extremely interdisciplinary field.

In this talk, I will present a comprehensive study of a molecular electronic system, including design, fabrication, and characterization of chemical materials, switching devices, and multifunctional circuits. A focal point of this research has been to integrate a series of bi-stable molecules into molecular switch tunnel junctions. We have successfully demonstrated electrical ON/OFF switching based on the chemical bi-stability of these molecules. Important issues in material preparation, device fabrication, and electrical characterization will be discussed. In addition, I will focus on scaling of these devices and crossbar circuits from micro-scale to nano-scale. The latest system contains 22.5Kbits at a density of 1011/cm2 (33 nm full pitch). I will also discuss a scheme in which multi-functional units, e.g. memory, logic, and sensing, can be integrated into a large scale nanowire crossbar array system.

Yi Luo was born on Sep 20th, 1964 in Beijing, China. In 1982, he graduated from the Affiliated High School of Southern China Normal University in Guangzhou. From 1982 to 1987, he attended the University of Science and Technology of China, HeFei, China, and received B.S. in geophysics in 1987. From 1987 to 1990, he worked at the GuangDong Institute of Technology as an assistant instructor. From 1990 to 1993, he studied in the Physics Department at the University of Toledo. My MS thesis was on pulsed laser deposition for the growth of II-VI compound semiconductor heterojunctions. From 1993 to 2000, he studied in the Department of Applied Physics at Columbia University under the advice of Prof. Richard M. Osgood, Jr. His research was focused on low temperature atomic layer epitaxy (ALE) of semiconductors, and detailed surface chemical investigations of metal-organic precursors on semiconductor surfaces in an UHV environment. He received his Ph D. in March, 2000. From 2000 to present, he has been working in Prof. Jim Heath's group, first at UCLA, and now at Caltech. Currently, he is a staff scientist in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. During this period, his research has been focused on molecular electronic systems and other novel nano-scale systems for sensing and biological applications.

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