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Coulomb Staircase At Room Temperature In A Self-Assembled Molecular Nanostructure

R. Andres, T. Bein, Matt Dorogi, S. Feng, Jason I. Henderson, C. P. Kubiak, W. Mahoney, R. Osifchin, R. Reifenberger
Published 1996 · Chemistry, Medicine

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Double-ended aryl dithiols [α,α′-xylyldithiol (XYL) and 4,4′-biphenyldithiol] formed self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on gold(111) substrates and were used to tether nanometer-sized gold clusters deposited from a cluster beam. An ultrahigh-vacuum scanning tunneling microscope was used to image these nanostructures and to measure their current-voltage characteristics as a function of the separation between the probe tip and the metal cluster. At room temperature, when the tip was positioned over a cluster bonded to the XYL SAM, the current-voltage data showed “Coulomb staircase” behavior. These data are in good agreement with semiclassical predictions for correlated single-electron tunneling and permit estimation of the electrical resistance of a single XYL molecule (∼18 ± 12 megohms).
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