Changes in the electronic properties of a molecule when it is wired into a circuit

X. D. Cui, A. Primak, X. Zarate, J. Tomfohr, O. F. Sankey, Ana L Moore, Thomas A Moore, John Devens Gust, L. A. Nagahara, S. M. Lindsay

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Molecular electronic devices require at least two electrical contacts to one (or more) molecule(s). Single molecules are reliably probed by bonding one end to a gold substrate and the other end to a gold nanocrystal. The circuit is completed with a gold-coated atomic force microscope probe. Measurements of the decay of electronic current with the length of n-alkanedithiol molecules in these single-molecule nanojunctions are reported as a function of the applied bias. The value of the decay constant near zero bias was obtained from measurements in the ohmic region of the current-voltage curves. The electron tunneling decay rate is significantly smaller (βN = 0.57 ± 0.03) than observed for molecules bonded at just one end (βN ≈ 1), and it falls to even smaller values as the applied bias is increased. Both these effects are quantitatively accounted for by a large shift in molecular levels caused by the attachment of wires at each end.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8609-8614
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - Aug 29 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Cite this

Cui, X. D., Primak, A., Zarate, X., Tomfohr, J., Sankey, O. F., Moore, A. L., ... Lindsay, S. M. (2002). Changes in the electronic properties of a molecule when it is wired into a circuit. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 106(34), 8609-8614.