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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: EEEM041 Module Title: MOLECULAR ELECTRONICS
Module Provider: Electronic Engineering Short Name: EEM.MCE
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: CURRY RJ Dr (Elec Eng)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Autumn Semester
Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
Weekly exercise sheets
Written Closed-book Examination
Module Overview
This module introduces students to the fundamentals of organic and polymer molecules and their application in single molecule and bulk electronic devices.
Module Aims
To achieve the learning outcomes described below
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the module students will be expected to be able to:
  • explain the origin of atomic and molecular energy levels;
  • recognise the limitations of models describing molecular energy levels;
  • relate experimentally observed phenomena to the properties of molecules;
  • contrast experimental techniques use to produce and measure single molecule devices;
  • discuss commonly used electronic molecules, polymers and films and their properties;
  • classify liquid crystal materials and illustrate their applications;
  • explain charge transport in molecular/polymer films and how it can be measured;
  • discuss key molecular and polymer devices and explain their operation;
  • critically assess the development and progress of molecular electronics.
Module Content

The following topics will be covered in this course:

1)      electronic configuration of atoms and the periodic table (RJ Curry) 
       -      hydrogen atom and origin of 4 quantum numbers n, l, ml, and spin 
        -     aufbau, Pauli, principle and Hund’s rule (electronic configuration) and period table

 2)      atomic bonding, organic molecules and their properties (RJ Curry) 
        -     Octet ‘rule’ and atomic bonding 
        -     hydrogen molecule bonding and anti-bonding molecular energy levels 
        -     carbon molecules, hybridisation and pi/pi* states 
        -     LCAO and Huckle approximations

 3)      properties of molecular orbitals (RJ Curry) 
        -     optical properties and relation to LCAO theory 
        -     excited/charged states (excitons, polarons etc) 
        -     experimental measurements of these properties

4)       molecular electronics (RJ Curry) 
        -     simple models of molecules and effect of contacts on electronic state 
        -     molecular wires, resistors, diodes, capacitors and transistors 
        -     simple molecular devices and their fabrication and measurement

5)        Functional groups and molecules (RJ Curry) 
        -     electron donating and withdrawing groups 
        -     dipoles

 6)      molecular materials for thin film devices (M Shkunov) 
      -       common electronic molecules and their properties 
      -        thin films deposition techniques and morphology

 7)       characterisation of organic materials and their electronic properties (M Shkunov)           
      -        surface and bulk characterisation techniques 
      -       chemical composition and structure analysis in relation to electronic properties

  8)      liquid crystals and self-assembly techniques for organic electronic devices (M Shkunov) 
       -       fundamentals of liquid crystals and their properties 
       -      self-assembly mechanisms 
       -       applications in devices and measurements of characteristics

9)      electronic properties of molecular/polymer thin films (M Shkunov) 
       -       effects of morphology and charge transport mechanisms 
       -        experimental methods for measuring charge mobility 
       -        organic field–effect transistors

10)  bulk organic and polymer devices (M Shkunov) 
       -      charge injection, Fermi level alignment, and heterojunctions 
       -      Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) and lasers 
       -       RFID, FETs, e-paper, OPV devices 
       -       Challenges for molecular electronics




Methods of Teaching/Learning
3 one hour lectures each week (10 weeks in total)
Selected Texts/Journals

Wider reading using library and internet resources will be required including research articles provided during course.

Bruice P.Y. ‘Organic Chemistry’ Prentice Hall International, London , 1998 (Library shelfmark 547/BRU).

Waser. R. (ed) Nanotelectronics and Information Technology: Advanced Electronic Materials and Novel Devices (Wiley-VCH, Wwinheim, 2003) provides an overview of some of the key concepts covered.

Last Updated

30 July 2009