Notwithstanding the increasing interest in Molecular Quantum-Dot Cellular Automata (MQCA) as emerging devices for computation, a characterization of their behavior from an electronic standpoint is not well-stated. Devices are typically analyzed with quantum physics-based approaches which are far from the electronic engineering world and make it difficult to design, simulate and fabricate molecular devices. In this work, we define new figures of merits to characterize the molecules, which are based on the post-processing of results obtained from ab initio simulations. We define the Aggregated Charge (AC), the electric-field generated at the receiver molecule (EFGR), the Vin–Vout and Vin–AC transcharacteristics (VVT and VACT), the Vout maps (VOM) and the MQCA cell working zones (CWZ). These quantities are compatible with an electronic engineering point of view and can be used to analyze the capability of molecules to propagate information. We apply and verify the methodology to three molecules already proposed in the literature for MQCA and we state to which extent these molecules can be effective for computation. The adopted methodology provides the quantitative characterization of the molecules necessary for digital designers, to design digital circuits, and for technologists, to the future fabrication of MQCA devices.
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