Evidence for quantum interference in sams of arylethynylene thiolates in tunneling junctions with eutectic Ga-In (EGaIn) top-contacts: The influence of π-conjugation on the single-molecule conductance at a solid/liquid interface

Davide Fracasso, Hennie Valkenier, Jan C. Hummelen, Gemma C. Solomon*, Ryan C. Chiechi, Wenjing Hong, Gábor Mészáros, David Zsolt Manrique, Artem Mishchenko, Alexander Putz, Pavel Moreno García, Colin J. Lambert, Thomas Wandlowski

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This paper compares the current density (J) versus applied bias (V) of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of three different ethynylthiophenol-functionalized anthracene derivatives of approximately the same thickness with linear-conjugation (AC), cross-conjugation (AQ), and broken-conjugation (AH) using liquid eutectic Ga-In (EGaIn) supporting a native skin (similar to 1 nm thick) of Ga2O3 as a nondamaging, conformal topcontact. This skin imparts non-Newtonian rheological properties that distinguish EGaIn from other top-contacts; however, it may also have limited the maximum values of J observed for AC. The measured values of J for AH and AQ are not significantly different (J approximate to 10(-1)A/cm(2) at V = 0.4 V). For AC, however, J is 1 (using log averages) or 2 (using Gaussian fits) orders of magnitude higher than for AH and AQ These values are in good qualitative agreement with gDFTB calculations on single AC, AQ and AH molecules chemisorbed between Au contacts that predict currents, I, that are 2 orders of magnitude higher for AC than for AH at 0 <vertical bar V vertical bar <0.4 V. The calculations predict a higher value of I for AQ than for AH; however, the magnitude is highly dependent on the position of the Fermi energy, which cannot be calculated precisely. In this sense, the theoretical predictions and experimental conclusions agree that linearly conjugated AC is significantly more conductive than either cross-conjugated AQ or broken conjugate AH and that AQ and AH cannot necessarily be easily differentiated from each other. These observations are ascribed to quantum interference effects. The agreement between the theoretical predictions on single molecules and the measurements on SAMs suggest that molecule-molecule interactions do not play a significant role in the transport properties of AC, AQ and AH.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9556-9563
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume133
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22-Jun-2011

Keywords

  • SELF-ASSEMBLED MONOLAYERS
  • AREA MOLECULAR JUNCTIONS
  • ATOMIC-FORCE MICROSCOPY
  • GALLIUM-INDIUM EGAIN
  • TIGHT-BINDING METHOD
  • SINGLE-MOLECULE
  • ELECTRON-TRANSFER
  • METAL JUNCTIONS
  • COMPLEX MATERIALS
  • CHARGE-TRANSPORT

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