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The emerging field of molecular electronics could take our definition of portable to the next level, enabling the construction of tiny circuits from molecular components. In these highly efficient devices, individual molecules would take on the roles currently played by comparatively-bulky wires, resistors and transistors.

A team of researchers from five Japanese and Taiwanese universities has identified a potential candidate for use in small-scale electronics: a molecule called picene. In a paper published September 16 in The Journal of Chemical Physics, from AIP Publishing, they characterize the structural and electronic properties of a thin layer of picene on a silver surface, demonstrating the molecule's potential for electronic applications.

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