For the first time, scientists have observed a single molecule emitting light when sandwiched between broken segments of a carbon nanotube. The new device emitted just one photon for every 1 billion electrons, according to the study. The research could lead to development of optical electronics based on individual molecules. Or Tron costumes for the masses.
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To build this Lite-Brite device, scientists from Germany, Switzerland and Poland created a tiny gap between two electrodes in a carbon nanotube and stuck a special molecule inside it. The gap was so small that it could only fit between one and three molecules, according to a report in PhysOrg. The rod-like molecule had electrical properties that enabled it to be trapped between the electrodes, completing the circuit.
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