Conductance of molecular nanojunctions: Roles of surface topography and metal contacts

Nikolai Zhitenev, Artur Erbe, Zhenan Bao, Weirong Jiang, Eric Garfunkel

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Relative surface topography of metal electrodes is one of the subtle issues determining the electrical performance of molecular devices. Systematic conductivity measurements of nanoscale junctions containing self-assembled monolayer of conjugated molecules are reported for a variety of metal electrodes. The monolayer is assembled on 25-100 nm electrode. Another 10-100 nm electrode is defined on top of the monolayer by metal evaporation. The characteristic energy scales are determined from the temperature dependence of conductance and from the non-linear current-voltage characteristics. Unexpectedly, the energy scales of the dominant conductance channels are small in comparison with the molecular level spacing. In all cases, the dominant room temperature conductance is hopping with characteristic energy of the order of 10-100 meV determined by the nature of metal contacts. Relative contribution of tunneling conductance strongly depends on the surface topography of the metal electrodes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Apr 21 2005
EventNanofabrication: Technologies, Devices, and Applications - Philadelphia, PA, United States
Duration: Oct 25 2004Oct 28 2004


  • Molecular electronics
  • Nanofabrication
  • Tunneling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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