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Negative Differential Resistance By Molecular Resonant Tunneling Between Neutral Tribenzosubporphine Anchored To A Au(111) Surface And Tribenzosubporphine Cation Adsorbed On To A Tungsten Tip.

Y. Majima, D. Ogawa, M. Iwamoto, Y. Azuma, E. Tsurumaki, A. Osuka
Published 2013 · Chemistry, Medicine

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Tribenzosubporphyrins are boron(III)-chelated triangular bowl-shaped ring-contracted porphyrins that possess a 14π-aromatic circuit. Their flat molecular shapes and discrete molecular orbital diagrams make them ideal for observation by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). Expanding their applications toward single molecule-based devices requires a fundamental knowledge of single molecular conductance between tribenzosubporphines and the STM metal tip. We utilized a tungsten (W) STM tip to investigate the electronic properties of B-(5-mercaptopentoxy)tribenzosubporphine 1 at the single molecular level. B-(5-mercaptopentoxy)-tribenzosubporphine 1 was anchored to the Au(111) surface via reaction with 1-heptanethiol linkers that were preorganized as a self-assembled monolayer (C7S SAM) on the Au(111) substrate. This arrangement ensured that 1 was electronically decoupled from the metal surface. Differential conductance (dI/dV - V) measurements with the bare W tip exhibited a broad gap region of low conductance and three distinct responses at 2.4,-1.3, and -2.1 V. Bias-voltage-dependent STM imaging of 1 at 65 K displayed a triangle shape at -2.1 < V < -1.3 V and a circle shape at V < -2.1 V, reflecting its HOMO and HOMO-1, respectively. In addition, different conductance behaviors were reproducibly observed, which has been ascribed to the adsorption of a tribenzosubporphine-cation on the W tip. When using a W tip doped with preadsorbed tribenzosubporphine-cation, negative differential resistance (NDR) phenomena were clearly observed in a reproducible manner with a peak-to-valley ratio of 2.6, a value confirmed by spatial mapping conductance measurements. Collectively, the observed NDR phenomena have been attributed to effective molecular resonant tunneling between a neutral tribenzosubporphine anchored to the metal surface and a tribenzosubporphine cation adsorbed on a W tip.
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