Effects of hydration on molecular junction transport

David P. Long, Jason L. Lazorcik, Brent A. Mantooth, Martin H. Moore, Mark A. Ratner, Alessandro Troisi, Yuxing Yao, Jacob W. Ciszek, James M. Tour, Ranganathan Shashidhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


The study of charge transport through increasingly complex small molecules will benefit from a detailed understanding of how contaminants from the environment affect molecular conduction. This should provide a clearer picture of the electronic characteristics of molecules by eliminating interference from adsorbed species. Here we use magnetically assembled microsphere junctions incorporating thiol monolayers to provide insight into changing electron transport characteristics resulting from exposure to air. Using this technique, current-voltage analysis and inelastic electron tunnelling spectroscopy (IETS) demonstrate that the primary interaction affecting molecular conduction is rapid hydration at the gold-sulphur contacts. We use IETS to present evidence for changing mechanisms of charge transport as a result of this interaction. The detrimental effects on molecular conduction discussed here are important for understanding electron transport through gold-thiol molecular junctions once exposed to atmosphericconditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-908
Number of pages8
JournalNature materials
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 9 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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