Effect of anchoring groups on single molecule charge transport through porphyrins

Zhihai Li, Manuel Smeu, Mark A Ratner, Eric Borguet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Controlling charge transport through individual molecules and further understanding the effect of anchoring groups on charge transport are central themes in molecule-based devices. However, in most anchoring effect studies, only two, or at most three nonthiol anchoring groups were studied and compared for a specific system, i.e., using the same core structure. The scarcity of direct comparison data makes it difficult to draw unambiguous conclusions on the anchoring group effect. In this contribution, we focus on the single molecule conductance of porphyrins terminated with a range of anchoring groups: sulfonate (-SO3-), hydroxyl (-OH), nitrile (-CN), amine (-NH 2), carboxylic acid (-COOH), benzyl (-C6H6), and pyridyl (-C6H5N). The present study represents a first attempt to investigate a broad series of anchoring groups in one specific molecule for a direct comparison. It also is the first attempt, to our knowledge, to explore single molecule conductivity with two novel anchoring groups sulfonate (-SO3-) and hydroxyl (-OH). Our experimental results reveal that the single molecule conductance values of the porphyrins follow the sequence of pyridyl > amine > sulfonate > nitrile > carboxylic acid. Electron transport calculations are in agreement that the pyridyl groups result in higher conductance values than the other groups, which is due to a stronger binding interaction of this group to the Au electrodes. The finding of a general trend in the effect of anchoring groups and the exploration of new anchoring groups reported in this paper may provide useful information for molecule-based devices, functional porphyrin design, and electron transfer/transport studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14890-14898
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Volume117
Issue number29
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 25 2013

Fingerprint

Porphyrins
porphyrins
Charge transfer
Molecules
molecules
Nitriles
Carboxylic Acids
Carboxylic acids
sulfonates
Hydroxyl Radical
Amines
nitriles
carboxylic acids
amines
Electrodes
Electrons
electron transfer
trends
conductivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Energy(all)

Cite this

Effect of anchoring groups on single molecule charge transport through porphyrins. / Li, Zhihai; Smeu, Manuel; Ratner, Mark A; Borguet, Eric.

In: Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol. 117, No. 29, 25.07.2013, p. 14890-14898.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Li, Zhihai ; Smeu, Manuel ; Ratner, Mark A ; Borguet, Eric. / Effect of anchoring groups on single molecule charge transport through porphyrins. In: Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 2013 ; Vol. 117, No. 29. pp. 14890-14898.
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