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Large-Area, Ensemble Molecular Electronics: Motivation And Challenges.

A. Vilan, D. Aswal, D. Cahen
Published 2017 · Chemistry, Medicine, Physics

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We review charge transport across molecular monolayers, which is central to molecular electronics (MolEl), using large-area junctions (NmJ). We strive to provide a wide conceptual overview of three main subtopics. First, a broad introduction places NmJ in perspective to related fields of research and to single-molecule junctions (1mJ) in addition to a brief historical account. As charge transport presents an ultrasensitive probe for the electronic perfection of interfaces, in the second part ways to form both the monolayer and the contacts are described to construct reliable, defect-free interfaces. The last part is dedicated to understanding and analyses of current-voltage (I-V) traces across molecular junctions. Notwithstanding the original motivation of MolEl, I-V traces are often not very sensitive to molecular details and then provide a poor probe for chemical information. Instead, we focus on how to analyze the net electrical performance of molecular junctions, from a functional device perspective. Finally, we point to creation of a built-in electric field as a key to achieve functionality, including nonlinear current-voltage characteristics that originate in the molecules or their contacts to the electrodes. This review is complemented by a another review that covers metal-molecule-semiconductor junctions and their unique hybrid effects.
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