Electrons, the negatively charged particles in atoms, are not just particles. In the super-small world of quantum mechanics, they also act as waves and waves can reinforce or extinguish each other. This phenomenon has been known for some time: at very low temperatures, electron waves can extinguish each other in such a way that they raise the resistance of the wire they were running through. In Nature Nanotechnology, an international team of physicists, including Constant Guédon and Sense Jan van der Molen from Leiden, describe how they observed this phenomenon at room temperature. They designed special molecular electrical wires where the waves meet and extinguish each other.

Is that cool? Well, it’s quite cool if you know that you can switch the extinguishment on and off because that means you can design entirely new kinds of electronic circuits. Although there might be one or two people who do not enjoy building electronic devices, there a very few people who do not enjoy buying electronic devices. According to the researchers, the next step is to produce molecules that can be used for this.

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