Switching in Nanoscale Molecular Junctions due to Contact Reconfiguration

Luca Ornago, Jerry Kamer, Maria El Abbassi, Ferdinand C. Grozema, Herre S.J. Van Der Zant*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Switching effects are key elements in the design and characterization of nanoscale molecular electronics systems. They are used to achieve functionality through the transition between different conducting states. In this study, we analyze the presence of switching events in reference molecular systems, which are not designed to have switching behavior, such as oligo(phenylene ethynylene)s and alkanes, using the mechanically controllable break junction technique. These events can be classified in two groups, depending on whether the breaking trace shows exponential decay or plateau-like features before the switch happens. We argue that the former correspond to junctions forming after rupture of the gold atomic point contact, while the latter can be related to a change in the contact geometry of the junction. These results highlight how a proper choice of anchoring group and careful comparison with reference compounds are essential to understanding the origin of switching in molecular break junctions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19843-19848
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Volume126
Issue number46
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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