12,000

We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK

93%

93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Correlations between Molecular Structure and Si...
View graph of relations

« Back

Correlations between Molecular Structure and Single-Junction Conductance: A Case Study with Oligo(phenylene-ethynylene)-Type Wires

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date21/03/2012
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Journal number11
Volume134
Number of pages14
Pages5262-5275
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The charge transport characteristics of 11 tailor-made dithiol-terminated oligo(phenylene-ethynylene) (OPE)-type molecules attached to two gold electrodes were studied at a solid/liquid interface in a combined approach using an STM break junction (STM-BJ) and a mechanically controlled break junction (MCBJ) setup. We designed and characterized 11 structurally distinct dithiol-terminated OPE-type molecules with varied length and HOMO/LUMO energy. Increase of the molecular length and/or of the HOMO-LUMO gap leads to a decrease of the single-junction conductance of the linearly conjugate acenes. The experimental data and simulations suggest a nonresonant tunneling mechanism involving hole transport through the molecular HOMO, with a decay constant beta = 3.4 +/- 0.1 nm(-1) and a contact resistance R-c = 40 k Omega per Au-S bond. The introduction of a cross-conjugated anthraquinone or a dihydroanthracene central unit results in lower conductance values, which are attributed to a destructive quantum interference phenomenon for the former and a broken pi-conjugation for the latter. The statistical analysis of conductance-distance and current-voltage traces revealed details of evolution and breaking of molecular junctions. In particular, we explored the effect of stretching rate and junction stability. We compare our experimental results with DFT calculations using the ab initio code SMEAGOL and discuss how the structure of the molecular wires affects the conductance values.