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Electron Transport Dynamics in Redox-Molecule-Terminated Branched Oligomer Wires on Au(111)

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-01-21, 00:00 authored by Ryota Sakamoto, Shunsuke Katagiri, Hiroaki Maeda, Yoshihiko Nishimori, Seiji Miyashita, Hiroshi Nishihara
Dendritic bis­(ter­pyridine)­iron­(II) wires with terminal ferrocene units were synthesized on a Au(111) surface by stepwise coordination using a three-way terpyridine ligand, a ferrocene-modified terpyridine ligand, and Fe­(II) ions. Potential–step chronoamperometry, which applied overpotentials to induce the redox of the terminal ferrocene, revealed an unusual electron-transport phenomenon. The current–time profile did not follow an exponential decay that is common for linear molecular wire systems. The nonexponentiality was more prominent in the forward electron-transport direction (from the terminal ferrocene to the gold electrode, oxidation) than in the reverse direction (from the gold electrode to the terminal ferrocenium, reduction). A plateau and a steep fall were observed in the former. We propose a simple electron transport mechanism based on intrawire electron hopping between two adjacent redox-active sites, and the numerical simulation thereof reproduced the series of “asymmetric” potential–step chronoamperometry results for both linear and branched bis­(ter­pyridine)­iron­(II) wires.