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A dramatic effect of water on single molecule conductance

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

Published
  • Edmund Leary
  • Horst Höbenreich
  • Simon J. Higgins
  • Harm Van Zalinge
  • Wolfgang Haiss
  • Richard J. Nichols
  • Christopher Finch
  • Iain Grace
  • Colin J. Lambert
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/12/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
Volume1154
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)3-8
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish
Event2009 MRS Spring Meeting: MRS Symposium B on Concepts in Molecular and Organic Electronics - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 13/04/200917/04/2009

Conference

Conference2009 MRS Spring Meeting: MRS Symposium B on Concepts in Molecular and Organic Electronics
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA
Period13/04/0917/04/09

Abstract

Simple alkanedithiols exhibit the same molecular conductance whether measured in air, under vacuum or under liquids of different polarity. Here, we show that the presence of water 'gates' the conductance of a family of oligothiophene-containing molecular wires, and that the longer the oligothiophene, the larger is the effect; for the longest example studied, the molecular conductance is over two orders of magnitude larger in the presence of water, an unprecedented result suggesting that ambient water is a crucial factor to be taken into account when measuring single molecule conductances (SMC), or in the design of future molecular electronic devices. Theoretical investigation of electron transport through the molecules, using the ab initio non-equilibrium Green's function (SMEAGOL) method , shows that water molecules interact with the thiophene rings, shifting the transport resonances enough to increase greatly the SMC of the longer, more conjugated examples.