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Conductance of Tailored Molecular Segments: A Rudimentary Assessment by Landauer Formulation

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journal contribution
posted on 05.02.2014, 00:00 by Min-Jie Huang, Liang-Yan Hsu, Ming-Dung Fu, Su-Ting Chuang, Fang-Wei Tien, Chun-hsien Chen
One of the strengths of molecular electronics is the synthetic ability of tuning the electric properties by the derivatization and reshaping of the functional moieties. However, after the quantitative measurements of single-molecule resistance became available, it was soon apparent that the assumption of negligible influence of the headgroup–electrode contact on the molecular resistance was oversimplified. Due to the measurement scheme of the metal–-molecule–metal configuration, the contact resistance is always involved in the reported values. Consequently the electrical behavior of the tailored molecular moiety can only be conceptually inferred by the tunneling decay constant (βn in Rmeasured = Rn=0eβnN, where N is the number of repeated units), available only for compounds with a homologous series. This limitation hampers the exploration of novel structures for molecular devices. Based on the Landauer formula, we propose that the single-molecule resistance of the molecular backbones can be extracted. This simplified evaluation scheme is cross-examined by electrode materials of Au, Pd, and Pt and by anchoring groups of thiol (−SH), nitrile (−CN), and isothiocyanate (−NCS). The resistance values of molecular backbones for polymethylenes (n = 4, 6, 8, and 10) and phenyl (−C6H4−) moieties are found independent of the anchoring groups and electrode materials. The finding justifies the proposed approach that the resistance of functional moieties can be quantitatively evaluated from the measured values even for compounds without repeated units.

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