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Molecular Electronics: History And Fundamentals

Santiago Marqués-González, Paul J. Low

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The increasing difficulties of meeting ‘Moore’s Law’ rates of progress in conventional semiconductor electronics, coupled with the advent of methods capable of measuring the electronic properties of single molecules in a laboratory setting, have seen a surge of activity in the field of molecular electronics over the last decade. However, the concepts of molecular electronics are far from new, and the basic premise and ideas of molecular electronics have been shadowing those of solid-state semiconductor electronics since the middle of the 20th century. In this Primer Review, we introduce the topic of molecular electronics, drawing on some of the earliest expressions of the fundamental concepts, and summarizing key concepts to provide the interested reader with an entry to this fascinating field of science and emerging technology.