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UPTON, N.Y. -- Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, Bar-Ilan University, and Harvard University have grown ultrathin films of organic chain molecules on the surface of liquid mercury and discovered that the molecules form ordered structures. Similar to 60 years ago when fundamental studies of silicon paved the way to the semiconductor-electronics age, these results help to build a foundation for the development of tiny circuits built using organic molecules -- called molecular electronics -- a field believed to be the future of many electronic applications.
The scientists are participating in an ongoing program at Brookhaven to grow ultrathin organic films on solid and liquid surfaces. They are most interested in films that have controllable properties at a thickness of just a …