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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

A molecular logic gate.


PMID 11209046

Abstract

We propose a scheme for molecule-based information processing by combining well-studied spectroscopic techniques and recent results from chemical dynamics. Specifically it is discussed how optical transitions in single molecules can be used to rapidly perform classical (Boolean) logical operations. In the proposed way, a restricted number of states in a single molecule can act as a logical gate equivalent to at least two switches. It is argued that the four-level scheme can also be used to produce gain, because it allows an inversion, and not only a switching ability. The proposed scheme is quantum mechanical in that it takes advantage of the discrete nature of the energy levels but, we here discuss the temporal evolution, with the use of the populations only. On a longer time range we suggest that the same scheme could be extended to perform quantum logic, and a tentative suggestion, based on an available experiment, is discussed. We believe that the pumping can provide a partial proof of principle, although this and similar experiments were not interpreted thus far in our terms.

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