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Do Aviram−Ratner Diodes Rectify?

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journal contribution
posted on 05.03.2003, 00:00 authored by Kurt Stokbro, Jeremy Taylor, Mads Brandbyge
We present state-of-the-art first principles calculations for the IV characteristics of a donor−insulator−acceptor (DσA) type molecular diode anchored with thiolate bonds to two gold electrodes. We find very poor diode characteristics of the device, and the origin of this is analyzed in terms of the bias-dependent electronic structure. At zero bias, the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) is confined to the D part, and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) is confined to the A part, while at 3.8 V the two states align, and this gives rise to an increasing current. The latter is a potential mechanism for rectification and may in some cases lead to favorable diode characteristics. We identify the origin of the vanishing rectification for the investigated molecule, and on the basis of this we suggest parameters which are important for successful chemical engineering of DσA rectifiers.