Prestigious technology research house Bells Labs has appointed an independent panel to investigate allegations that one of its scientists manipulated data related to molecule-sized electronics.
The controversy relates to five articles published in scientific journals which raised the suspicions of other experts in the industry.
Bells Labs, part of Lucent Technologies, said that the accusations had come from scientists not connected to the research.
It is the first time in the group's 77-year history that it has had to take such drastic steps to look into accusations of misconduct by its own staff.
All the articles in question relate to Bells Labs researcher Dr Hendrik Schon, who published a piece in US magazine Nature claiming to have developed a transistor with an electronic switch just one molecule thick.
The graphs relating to the research stunned other scientists as they appeared to defy typical electronic behaviour.
Dr Lydia Sohn, a professor of physics at Princeton, told the New York Times: "There were funny things about the data that just shouldn't have occurred."
Dr Schon said that he would co-operate with the panel but had no further comment to make at this time.
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