End group effect on electrical transport through individual molecules: A microscopic study

Yongqiang Xue, Mark A. Ratner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

125 Citations (Scopus)


The effect on molecular transport due to chemical modification of the metal-molecule interface is investigated, using as an example the prototypical molecular device formed by attaching a p-disubstituted benzene molecule onto two gold electrodes through chemically different end groups. Using a first-principles-based self-consistent matrix Green’s function method, we find that, depending on the end group, transport through the molecule can be mediated by either near-resonant tunneling or off-resonant tunneling and the conductance of the molecule varies over more than two orders of magnitude. Despite the symmetric device structure of all the molecules studied, the applied bias voltage can be dropped either equally between the two metal-molecule contacts or mostly across the source (electron-injecting) contact depending on the potential landscape across the molecular junction at equilibrium.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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