It is challenging for conventional top-down lithography to fabricate reproducible devices very close to atomic dimensions, whereas identical molecules and very similar nanoparticles can be made bottom-up in large quantities, and can be self-assembled on surfaces. The challenge is to fabricate electrical contacts to many such small objects at the same time, so that nanocrystals and molecules can be incorporated into conventional integrated circuits. Here, we report a scalable method for contacting a self-assembled monolayer of nanoparticles with a single layer of graphene. This produces single-electron effects, in the form of a Coulomb staircase, with a yield of 87 ± 13% in device areas ranging from < 800 nm2 to 16 μm2, containing up to 650,000 nanoparticles. Our technique offers scalable assembly of ultra-high densities of functional particles or molecules that could be used in electronic integrated circuits, as memories, switches, sensors or thermoelectric generators.

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Springer Science
Nature Commun.
Hybrid Solar Cells

Fruhman, J., Astier, H., Ehrler, B., Böhm, M., Eyre, L., Kidambi, P., … Ford, C. (2021). High-yield parallel fabrication of quantum-dot monolayer single-electron devices displaying Coulomb staircase, contacted by graphene. Nature Commun., 12(1), 4307: 1–10. doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24233-2