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Nano Lett ; 19(11): 7845-7851, 2019 11 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31556298


Passing a current across two touching C60 molecules imposes a nonequilibrium population of bonding and antibonding molecular orbitals, which changes the equilibrium bond character and strength. A current-induced bond force therefore contributes to the total force at chemical-bond distances. The combination of first-principles calculations with scanning probe experiments exploring currents and forces in a wide C60-C60 distance range consistently evidences the presence of current-induced attraction that occurs when the two molecules are on the verge of forming a chemical bond. The unique opportunity to arrange matter at the atomic scale with the atomic force and scanning tunneling microscope tip has enabled closely matching molecular junctions in theory and experiment. The findings consequently represent the first report of current-induced bond forces at the single-molecule level and further elucidate the intimate relation between charge transport and force. The results are relevant to molecular electronics and chemical reactions in the presence of a current.

ACS Nano ; 11(9): 8747-8757, 2017 09 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28813143


Self-assembled monolayer field-effect transistors (SAMFETs) are not only a promising type of organic electronic device but also allow detailed analyses of structure-property correlations. The influence of the morphology on the charge transport is particularly pronounced, due to the confined monolayer of 2D-π-stacked organic semiconductor molecules. The morphology, in turn, is governed by relatively weak van-der-Waals interactions and is thus prone to dynamic structural fluctuations. Accordingly, combining electronic and physical characterization and time-averaged X-ray analyses with the dynamic information available at atomic resolution from simulations allows us to characterize self-assembled monolayer (SAM) based devices in great detail. For this purpose, we have constructed transistors based on SAMs of two molecules that consist of the organic p-type semiconductor benzothieno[3,2-b][1]benzothiophene (BTBT), linked to a C11 or C12 alkylphosphonic acid. Both molecules form ordered SAMs; however, our experiments show that the size of the crystalline domains and the charge-transport properties vary considerably in the two systems. These findings were confirmed by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and semiempirical molecular-orbital electronic-structure calculations, performed on snapshots from the MD simulations at different times, revealing, in atomistic detail, how the charge transport in organic semiconductors is influenced and limited by dynamic disorder.

Nanoscale ; 9(21): 7217-7226, 2017 Jun 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28513712


We investigate charge transport in C60-based single-molecule junctions with graphene electrodes employing a combination of density functional theory (DFT) electronic structure calculations and Landauer transport theory. In particular, the dependence of the transport properties on the conformation of the molecular bridge and the type of termination of the graphene electrodes is investigated. Furthermore, electron pathways through the junctions are analyzed using the theory of local currents. The results reveal, in agreement with previous experiments, a pronounced dependence of the transport properties on the bias polarity, which is rationalized in terms of the electronic structure of the molecule. It is also shown that the edge states of zigzag-terminated graphene induce additional transport channels, which dominate transport at low voltages. The importance of the edge states for transport depends profoundly on the interface geometry of the junctions.

Nano Lett ; 15(5): 3512-8, 2015 May 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25923590


On the way to ultraflat single-molecule junctions with transparent electrodes, we present a fabrication scheme based on epitaxial graphene nanoelectrodes. As a suitable molecule, we identified a molecular wire with fullerene anchor groups. With these two components, stable electrical characteristics could be recorded. Electrical measurements show that single-molecule junctions with graphene and with gold electrodes display a striking agreement. This motivated a hypothesis that the differential conductance spectra are rather insensitive to the electrode material. It is further corroborated by the assignment of asymmetries and spectral features to internal molecular degrees of freedom. The demonstrated open-access graphene electrodes and the electrode-insensitive molecules provide a model system that will allow for a thorough investigation of an individual single-molecule contact with additional probes.

J Phys Chem Lett ; 4(5): 809-14, 2013 Mar 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26281937


We investigate charge transport in pentacene-graphene nanojunctions employing density functional theory (DFT) electronic structure calculations and the Landauer transport formalism. The results show that the unique electronic properties of graphene strongly influence the transport in the nanojunctions. In particular, edge states in graphene electrodes with zigzag termination result in additional transport channels close to the Fermi energy, which deeply affects the conductance at small bias voltages. Investigating different linker groups as well as chemical substitution, we demonstrate how the transport properties are furthermore influenced by the molecule-lead coupling and the energy level lineup.