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Electron Transport Properties Of Single Molecular Junctions Under Mechanical Modulations.

J. Zhou, Cunlan Guo, Bingqian Xu
Published 2012 · Chemistry, Medicine

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Electron transport behaviors of single molecular junctions are very sensitive to the atomic scale molecule-metal electrode contact interfaces, which have been difficult to control. We used a modified scanning probe microscope-break junction technique (SPM-BJT) to control the dynamics of the contacts and simultaneously monitor both the conductance and force. First, by fitting the measured data into a modified multiple tunneling barrier model, the static contact resistances, corresponding to the different contact conformations of single alkanedithiol and alkanediamine molecular junctions, were identified. Second, the changes of contact decay constant were measured under mechanical extensions of the molecular junctions, which helped to classify the different single molecular conductance sets into specific microscopic conformations of the molecule-electrode contacts. Third, by monitoring the changes of force and contact decay constant with the mechanical extensions, the changes of conductance were found to be caused by the changes of contact bond length and by the atomic reorganizations near the contact bond. This study provides a new insight into the understanding of the influences of contact conformations, especially the effect of changes of dynamic contact conformation on electron transport through single molecular junctions.
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