Estimating single molecule conductance from spontaneous evolution of a molecular contact

Abstract : We present an original method to estimate the conductivity of a single molecule anchored to nanometric-sized metallic electrodes, using a Mechanically Controlled Break Junction (MCBJ) operated at room temperature in liquid. We record the conductance through the metal / molecules / metal nanocontact while keeping the metallic electrodes at a fixed distance. Taking advantage of thermal diffusion and electromigration, we let the contact naturally explore the more stable configurations around a chosen conductance value. The conductance of a single molecule is estimated from a statistical analysis of raw con-ductance and conductance standard deviation data for molecular contacts containing up to 14 molecules. The single molecule conductance values are interpreted as time-averaged conductance of an ensemble of conformers at thermal equilibrium.
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Journal of Applied Physics, American Institute of Physics, 2018, 123 (10), 〈10.1063/1.5018252〉
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M. Gil, T. Malinowski, M. Iazykov, Hubert Klein. Estimating single molecule conductance from spontaneous evolution of a molecular contact. Journal of Applied Physics, American Institute of Physics, 2018, 123 (10), 〈10.1063/1.5018252〉. 〈hal-01586755v2〉

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