Thursday, May 28, 2009

Random tidbits

Several minor things....
  • I've got an article on single-molecule electronics coming out in the June issue of Physics World. It's reasonably accessible, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, though I wish there had been more space to discuss the theoretical challenges.
  • This is damned cool. I had an undergrad course that was like the baby version of this - building up transistors into logic gates; then using logic gates to build a shift register; then building and programming a little 6502-based computer to run a model train network. This guy's work puts all that to shame by comparison.
  • The pseudonymous Kyle Finchsigmate, always entertaining and clever (often profane), has started a wiki site devoted to chemistry experimental techniques. In comments about that I came across this site from Rochester. I think it would be great to have a site like this about experimental physics, though clearly it would take a lot of work from many people to have it be any good....
  • I've been asked by a reader to solicit discussion and opinions about the various journal online manuscript submission/review systems. Which ones are good, and which ones are lousy? From what I can tell, the APS system is decent (though it always seems to complain erroneously about mistakes in my references and article lengths), and the Paragon system from ACS is quite good. The Nature publishing group one also seems to be put together well. I'm not a fan of "Manuscript Central" or whatever it is that Elsevier and IEEE use. What do you all think?
  • Thank goodness McLeroy was not confirmed as head of the TX board of education.
  • This'll be the last update for about the next 9 days or so, since I'll be traveling with very limited 'net access.


Uncle Al said...
I got yer single molecule conductor right here

Hydrogens and pi-bonds are invisible. Give each mer alkyl, PEO, or PPO chains for (liquid crystal) solubility. W.A. Little, Phys. Rev. 134 A1416-A1424 (1964); n- or p-dope the polyacetylene. Counter-wound pi-stacked helices avoid BCS frustration in a non-centrosymmetric lattice.

Arene aldehyde to the benzil, methylenate (Current Organic Synthesis 2(2) 231 (2005), e.g., Tebbe), then Grubbs or Schrock ADMET living polymerization with ethylene extrusion. Diode from a redox diblock. Terminate with sulfur to self-assemble onto gold electrodes.

Douglas Natelson said...

Al, the idea of using a redox diblock as a diode goes back to Aviram and Ratner in 1974 (Chem. Phys. Lett. 1974, 29, 277).

Uncle Al said...

RE redox diblock: Good reference. The boojum would be an ambient temperature superconducting diode. Resistance is futile!

Given a living polymer, concatenate a redox ladder for a one-molecule particle accelerator (I know, but adequate for New Scientist). A centrally branched triblock is a one-molecule transistor.

Start with stuff (science) then progress to engineering (things). Engineers can optimize anything. Crap to start is optimized crap at end (e.g., OLEDs that do everything but survive use).

Anonymous said...

i just read and enjoyed your article in Physics World.

(it took a while for our library to get it...)