Activated Conduction in Microscopic Molecular Junctions

Dvira Segal, Abraham Nitzan, Mark Ratner, William B. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

97 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We analyze the connection between the electron transfer (ET) rate through a given molecular bridge, and the conduction of a junction based on the same bridge between two metals. The Landauer relation between the conduction of a junction and its transmission properties is generalized to yield a relation between conduction and ET rate, including transfer processes dominated by thermal activation. The relation between the orders of magnitude of these observables involves an additional length parameter, of the order of the range of the donor wave function. We find that the functional dependence of these observables on the bridge length (N) and on the temperature (T) changes from the exponential and temperature independent, exp(-βN) for small N, to algebraic and thermally activated form, (α1 + α2N)-1 exp(-ΔE/kBT), as N increases. An intermediate range of apparent independence on N exists if α1 ≫ α2. This behavior is the analogue to the quantum Kramers (barrier crossing) problem, analyzed with respect to the barrier length.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2790-2793
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Volume104
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 6 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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