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Controlling And Observing Sharp-Valleyed Quantum Interference Effect In Single Molecular Junctions.

B. Huang, X. Liu, Y. Yuan, Ze-Wen Hong, J. Zheng, Lin-Qi Pei, Y. Shao, J. Li, Xiao-Shun Zhou, J. Chen, S. Jin, Bingwei Mao
Published 2018 · Chemistry, Medicine

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The ability to control over the quantum interference (QI) effect in single molecular junctions is attractive in the application of molecular electronics. Herein we report that the QI effect of meta-benzene based molecule with dihydrobenzo[ b]thiophene as the anchoring group ( meta-BT) can be controlled by manipulating the electrode potential of the junctions in electrolyte while the redox state of the molecule does not change. More than 2 orders of magnitude conductance change is observed for meta-BT ranging from <10-6.0 to 10-3.3 G0 with varying the electrode potential, while the upper value is even larger than the conductance of para-BT ( para-benzene based molecule with anchoring group of dihydrobenzo[ b]thiophene). This phenomenon is attributed to the shifting of energy level alignment between the molecule and electrodes under electrode potential control. Calculation is carried out to predict the transmission function of single molecular junction and the work function of Au surface in the presence of the molecule, and good agreement is found between theory and experiments, both showing sharp-valley featured destructive QI effect for the meta-BT. The present work demonstrates that the QI effect can be tuned through electrochemical gating without change of molecular redox states, which provides a feasible way toward realization of effective molecular switches.
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