Light-induced electron emissions from fullerene, a carbon-based molecule, can be used to make an ultrafast switch. The new device, developed by a team headed up at the University of Tokyo, Japan, has a switching speed that’s four to five orders of magnitude faster than that of current solid-state transistors used in modern-day computers. The path of the electrons produced from the emission sites in the molecule can be controlled on the sub-nanometre scale using pulses of laser light.

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