Australian Journal of Chemistry Australian Journal of Chemistry Society
An international journal for chemical science
RESEARCH FRONT

Digital Operations with Molecules – Advances, Challenges, and Perspectives

Uwe Pischel
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Department of Chemical Engineering, Physical Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Experimental Sciences, University of Huelva, Campus de El Carmen s/n, 21071 Huelva, Spain. Email: uwe.pischel@diq.uhu.es




Uwe Pischel studied Chemistry at the Technical University Dresden and the Humboldt University Berlin, where he graduated in 1998. In 2001, he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Basel under supervision of Professor Werner M. Nau. After a short postdoctoral stay at the Polytechnical University Valencia with Professor Miguel A. Miranda, he started his independent career as a group leader in 2003. Currently he holds a permanent position as Professor Contratado Doctor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Huelva in the south of Spain. His main research interests are fluorescent molecular switches and logic devices, supramolecular host–guest chemistry, and organic–inorganic hybrid materials.

Australian Journal of Chemistry 63(2) 148-164 https://doi.org/10.1071/CH09460
Submitted: 1 September 2009  Accepted: 27 November 2009   Published: 26 February 2010

Abstract

This Review gives a short introduction into molecular logic and focusses then on the latest advances in the field. With regard to complex logic circuits and functions, molecular devices for arithmetic processing (adders and subtractors), multiplexers/demultiplexers, and encoders/decoders are discussed. Further on, the concept of memory for data storage and sequential logic is considered together with the latest results on molecular keypad locks. Molecular logic has been often connected to the future aim of molecular computing. However, albeit the herein described approaches constitute a starting point, major challenges like concatenation of gates, solid state devices and compartmentalization, and alternative concepts (reversible logic, multivalued logic) are waiting ahead. These points are included, as well as a view on alternative applications of molecular logic in bio-inspired approaches, combinatorial chemistry, and materials science.


Acknowledgements

Financial support was granted by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Ramón y Cajal grant and project CTQ2008-06777-C02-02), the Andalusian Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Enterprise (project P08-FQM-3685), and the STINT Foundation (Sweden).


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