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Analyzing Molecular Current-Voltage Characteristics With The Simmons Tunneling Model: Scaling And Linearization

A. Vilan
Published 2007 · Chemistry

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Use of the Simmons model for analyzing tunneling transport across molecular junctions is reviewed, and its inherent limitations are examined, specifically for cases where there are no molecular length-dependent data (to extract a decay parameter), be it for experimental reasons or because of changes of the molecular energetics or packing with molecular length. The potential barrier across a molecular junction is shown to be strongly bias-dependent, much more so than is assumed in the commonly used version of the Simmons model. The means to distinguish true tunneling from conduction via pinholes (or hot spots) are also considered. Power expansion to the Simmons model shows that I/V vs V2 plots should be linear over that range, thus providing a simple and standardized parameter extraction. From such plots, we can extract values for the equilibrium conductance and for the “shape factor”, a complementary parameter that describes the shape of the I−V relations. The applicability of these two parameters for des...
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