by Thamarasee Jeewandara , Phys.org
Scientists have recently developed a light controlled nano-switch to lay groundwork for atomic device development in nanotechnology. They engineered the switches at the nanoscale in a first step toward fully integrated electronic device miniaturization. The multidisciplinary research was conducted by Weiqiang Zhang and co-workers, and an international team of collaborators. Results of the study are now published in Light: Science & Applications.
In the method developed by Zhang et al. light can be used to control electrical conductance at the junction between gold nano-electrodes by heating electrons at the electrode surface, in a technique known as 'plasmonic heating.' They validated the experimental mechanisms using simulations. The research team expanded electrodes via plasmonic heating to close the gap and turn the switch on, paving the way to build single-molecule transistors and nanopore-based biosensors at the nanoscale.