Molecular electronics is partly driven by the goal of producing active electronic elements that rival the performance of their solid-state counterparts, but on a much smaller size scale. We investigate what constitutes an ideal switch or molecular device, and how it can be designed, by analyzing transmission plots. The interference features in cross-conjugated molecules provide a large dynamic range in electron transmission probability, opening a new area for addressing electronic functionality in molecules. This large dynamic range is accessible through changes in electron density alone, enabling fast and stable switching. Using cross-conjugated molecules, we show how the width, depth, and energetic location of the interference features can be controlled. In an example of a single molecule transistor, we calculate a change in conductance of 8 orders of magnitude with an applied gate voltage. Using multiple interference features, we propose and calculate the current/voltage behavior of a molecular rectifier with a rectification ratio of >150 000. We calculate a purely electronic negative differential resistance behavior, suggesting that the large dynamic range in electron transmission probability caused by quantum interference could be exploited in future electronic devices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry