Molybdenum Acetate Molecules Applied in Nanoelectronic Products

Molybdenum acetate molecules are used on the surface of the insulator to arrange the metal atoms neatly, which can be used in nanoelectronic products. In order to produce miniature electronic memory or sensors in the future. It is essential to be able to arrange individual metal atoms on an insulating layer. Scientists at Bielefeld University's Faculty of Chemistry have now demonstrated that this is possible at room temperature.

Molybdenum (II) acetate is a coordination compound with the formula Mo2(O2CCH3)4. It is a yellow, diamagnetic, air-stable solid that is slightly soluble in organic solvents. Molybdenum acetate is an iconic example of a compound with a metal-metal quadruple bond. Molecules of the metal-containing compound molybdenum acetate form an ordered structure on the insulator calcite without jumping to other positions or rotating.

metal atoms arrange themselves on an insulator image

Their findings have been presented in the Nature Communications journal. The work was done in cooperation with researchers from the universities of Kaiserslautern, Lincoln (UK) and Mainz. The team used molybdenum acetate for nanoelectronic products. Previous studies have found that this compound exhibits unique structural properties on the gold surface.

The researchers stated, "Until now, it has been difficult to arrange metal atoms on an insulator surface. It's easier on a metal surface, but that's not of much benefit for use in electronic components,' says Professor Dr Angelika Kühnle, who heads the Physical Chemistry I working group at the Faculty of Chemistry. 'That's what's special about our study: we've found a way to arrange metal atoms on insulators in a lattice-like structure.' Insulators are materials in which electrons cannot move freely and are therefore very poor conductors of electricity."

The ordered structure is created because the molybdenum acetate molecules align themselves precisely with the charge distribution on the calcite surface. Calcite consists of calcium and carbonate building blocks that form a regular lattice structure.

Each molybdenum acetate molecule fits only in a very specific place on the calcite surface and at the same time does not interact with its neighboring molybdenum acetate molecules. That means it is firmly anchored.

the molybdenum-banner image

This research result is related to electronic applications and nanoelectronic products. For example, if magnetic metals can be arranged according to the same principle, they can be used for nanotechnology data storage, that is, memories with a size of only a few millionths of a millimeter. In addition, other possible application areas include optical or chemical sensors.