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Charge Transport in C60-Based Dumbbell-type Molecules: Mechanically Induced Switching between Two Distinct Conductance States

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posted on 2015-02-18, 00:00 authored by Pavel Moreno-García, Andrea La Rosa, Viliam Kolivoška, Daniel Bermejo, Wenjing Hong, Koji Yoshida, Masoud Baghernejad, Salvatore Filippone, Peter Broekmann, Thomas Wandlowski, Nazario Martín
Single molecule charge transport characteristics of buckminsterfullerene-capped symmetric fluorene-based dumbbell-type compound 1 were investigated by scanning tunneling microscopy break junction (STM-BJ), current sensing atomic force microscopy break junction (CS-AFM-BJ), and mechanically controlled break junction (MCBJ) techniques, under ambient conditions. We also show that compound 1 is able to form highly organized defect-free surface adlayers, allowing the molecules on the surface to be addressed specifically. Two distinct single molecule conductance states (called high GH1 and low GL1) were observed, depending on the pressure exerted by the probe on the junction, thus allowing molecule 1 to function as a mechanically driven molecular switch. These two distinct conductance states were attributed to the electron tunneling through the buckminsterfullerene anchoring group and fully extended molecule 1, respectively. The assignment of conductance features to these configurations was further confirmed by control experiments with asymmetrically designed buckminsterfullerene derivative 2 as well as pristine buckminsterfullerene 3, both lacking the GL feature.

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