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Precision control of single-molecule electrical junctions.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

  • Wolfgang Haiss
  • Changsheng Wang
  • Iain Grace
  • Andrei S. Batsanov
  • David J. Schiffrin
  • Simon J. Higgins
  • Martin R. Bryce
  • Colin J. Lambert
  • Richard J. Nichols
Journal publication date2006
JournalNature Materials
Volume5
Number of pages8
Pages995-1002
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

There is much discussion of molecules as components for future electronic devices. However, the contacts, the local environment and the temperature can all affect their electrical properties. This sensitivity, particularly at the single-molecule level, may limit the use of molecules as active electrical components, and therefore it is important to design and evaluate molecular junctions with a robust and stable electrical response over a wide range of junction configurations and temperatures. Here we report an approach to monitor the electrical properties of single-molecule junctions, which involves precise control of the contact spacing and tilt angle of the molecule. Comparison with ab initio transport calculations shows that the tilt-angle dependence of the electrical conductance is a sensitive spectroscopic probe, providing information about the position of the Fermi energy. It is also shown that the electrical properties of flexible molecules are dependent on temperature, whereas those of molecules designed for their rigidity are not.