We studied the electronic and conductance properties of two thiophene–curcuminoid molecules, 2-thphCCM (1) and 3-thphCCM (2), in which the only structural difference is the position of the sulfur atoms in the thiophene terminal groups. We used electrochemical techniques as well as UV/Vis absorption studies to obtain the values of the HOMO–LUMO band gap energies, showing that molecule 1 has lower values than 2. Theoretical calculations show the same trend. Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of these molecules were studied by using electrochemistry, showing that the interaction with gold reduces drastically the HOMO–LUMO gap in both molecules to almost the same value. Single-molecule conductance measurements show that molecule 2 has two different conductance values, whereas molecule 1 exhibits only one. Based on theoretical calculations, we conclude that the lowest conductance value, similar in both molecules, corresponds to a van der Waals interaction between the thiophene ring and the electrodes. The one order of magnitude higher conductance value for molecule 2 corresponds to a coordinate (dative covalent) interaction between the sulfur atoms and the gold electrodes.
- density functional calculations
- differential pulse voltammetry
- HOMO–LUMO band gap energies