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Inelastic Electron Tunneling Spectroscopy of Alkane Monolayers with Dissimilar Attachment Chemistry to Gold

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journal contribution
posted on 12.12.2007, 00:00 by David P. Long, Alessandro Troisi
We compare the low-temperature electron transport properties of alkyl monolayers which utilize different attachment strategies to gold. Inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy (IETS) and current−voltage analysis were performed on molecular junctions incorporating alkyl-dithiocarbamate and alkanethiolate self-assembled monolayers of similar length. Alkyl-dithiocarbamate monolayers were formed by the condensation of dioctylamine or didecylamine with carbon disulfide in anhydrous ethanol and compared to alkanethiolate SAMs of 1-decanethiol and 1-dodecanethiol, respectively. The electron transport properties of each monolayer were examined using magnetically assembled microsphere junctions under high-vacuum conditions at low temperature. IETS was employed to differentiate the films on the basis of vibrational modes which are characteristic of each method of attachment. We use quantum chemical simulations of model compounds to calculate frequency and intensity of predicted signals arising from molecular vibrations to aid in the accurate assignment of the spectra. A qualitative comparison of our devices also reveals an increase in current density when utilizing dithiocarbamate attachment to gold compared to alkanethiolate molecules of similar length.