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Single Molecular Conductance of Tolanes: Experimental and Theoretical Study on the Junction Evolution Dependent on the Anchoring Group

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date1/02/2012
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Number of pages13
Original languageEnglish


Employing a scanning tunneling microscopy based beak junction technique and mechanically controlled break junction experiments, we investigated tolane (diphenylacetylene)-type single molecular junctions having four different anchoring groups (SH, pyridyl (PY), NH2, and CN) at a solid/liquid interface. The combination of current-distance and current-voltage measurements and their quantitative statistical analysis revealed the following sequence for junction formation probability and stability: PY > SH > NH2 > CN. For all single molecular junctions investigated, we observed the evolution through multiple junction configurations, with a particularly well-defined binding geometry for PY. The comparison of density functional theory type model calculations and molecular dynamics simulations with the experimental results revealed structure and mechanistic details of the evolution of the different types of (single) molecular junctions upon stretching quantitatively.