We investigate transport through mechanically triggered single-molecule switches that are based on the coordination sphere-dependent spin state of FeII-species. In these molecules, in certain junction configurations the relative arrangement of two terpyridine ligands within homoleptic FeII-complexes can be mechanically controlled. Mechanical pulling may thus distort the FeII coordination sphere and eventually modify their spin state. Using the movable nanoelectrodes in a mechanically controlled break-junction at low temperature, current-voltage measurements at cryogenic temperatures support the hypothesized switching mechanism based on the spin-crossover behavior. A large fraction of molecular junctions formed with the spin-crossover-active FeII-complex displays a conductance increase for increasing electrode separation and this increase can reach 1-2 orders of magnitude. Theoretical calculations predict a stretching-induced spin transition in the FeII-complex and a larger transmission for the high-spin configuration.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Nano Letters: a journal dedicated to nanoscience and nanotechnology|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Aug 2016|
- density functional theory
- molecular spintronics
- nanoscale transport
- Spin-crossover switch