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Controlling Single Molecule Electronics with Synthetic Organic Molecules

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PIs: D. R. Strachan, D. E. Johnston, and A. T. Johnson Jr. (Physics & Astronomy); D. A. Bonnell (Materials); T.-H. Park & M. J. Therien (Chemistry); K. McAllister & W. DeGrado (Biochemistry & Biophysics)

Single molecule devices are remarkable structures on the ~1 nm scale – a size where quantum transport effects are crucial. We are exploring the basic science underlying single molecule devices with diverse functionality (e.g., transistors, sensors, photo detectors).

Reproducible fabrication is essential for experiments probing properties of metal contacts to molecular circuits. Our goal is reproducible molecular devices that will be a powerful spectroscopic tool for probing molecule properties.

Reproducible nanogap fabrication techniques developed at Penn*,** are used to contact unique molecular structures synthesized by our RT-1 collaborators.

Conclusions:

Molecular devices are formed at room temperature and quickly cooled (within 5 minutes) in our new low-noise cryostat.

Devices show gate response at low temperatures.

Yield for high conductance (~2e2/h) molecular devices is well over 50%.

*D. R. Strachan, et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 043109 (2005)
**D. R. Strachan, et al., Nano Lett. 86, 043109 (2006)

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