Imagine a structure comprised of brick piles connected by flexible bridges. The building’s functionality is altered by turning a knob that modifies the spans. Wouldn’t it be wonderful?
Prof. Aitor Mugarza, from the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) and ICREA, along with Prof. Diego Pea from the Center for Research in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Materials of the University of Santiago de Compostela (CiQUS-USC), Dr. Cesar Moreno, a former member of ICN2’s team who is now a researcher at the University of Cantabria, and Dr. Aran Garcia-Le
According to a paper recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) and featured on the issue’s cover, this research represents a significant advancement in the precision engineering of atomic-thin materials, also known as “2D materials” because of their reduced dimensionality.
Designing atomically precise quantum circuits in graphene
The proposed fabrication method offers intriguing new opportunities for materials science, particularly for applications in advanced electronics and future sustainable energy solutions.
The authors of this study synthesized a new nanoporous graphene structure by connecting ultra-narrow graphene strips known as “nanoribbons” with flexible “bridges” comprised of phenylene moieties (portions of larger molecules).
By continuously modifying the architecture and angle of these bridges, scientists are able to regulate the quantum connectivity between the nanoribbon channels and, ultimately, fine-tune the electronic properties of the graphene nanoarchitecture. External stimuli, such as strain or electric fields, could also control the tunability, allowing for a variety of applications.
These ground-breaking findings, which are the result of a collaboration between top-tier Spanish institutions (CiQUS, ICN2, University of Cantabria, DIPC) and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), demonstrate that the proposed molecular bridge strategy can have a significant impact on the synthesis of new materials with tailored properties and is a potent tool for the realization of quantum circuits.
Quantum circuits execute operations similar to those of conventional circuits, but unlike conventional circuits, they utilize quantum effects and phenomena. These systems’ design and implementation are highly relevant to the development of quantum computers.
The prospective applications of the methodology proposed in this study, however, extend beyond future electronic devices and computers. In fact, it could also contribute to the development of thermoelectric nanomaterials, which can have a significant impact on renewable energy generation and waste heat recovery, thereby addressing an additional critical societal issue.
Center for Research in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Materials (CiQUS) provides this resource.