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The University of Southampton

Single molecule electronics and electrochemistry Seminar

Richard Nichols
1 May 2013
Building 27, Room 2001 Chemistry University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Dr Andrew Hector at .

Event details

Part of the Electrochemistry Seminar Series

Measurement of the electrical properties of single molecules sandwiched between metal contacts has recently become an experimental reality. In recent years, we have developed and exploited novel scanning-tunnelling-microscopy-based methods for achieving this feat. In our methods, a gold substrate is coated with a low-coverage monolayer of molecules bearing two terminal thiol moieties, which interact strongly with gold. A gold STM tip is employed, and in the course of the experiments, one (or a few) molecule(s) forms a junction between tip and substrate, as illustrated schematically in Figure 1 (below). In one implementation, which we named the I(s) method, the tip is brought close to the surface (without making contact), then withdrawn while the junction conductance (Figure 1) is measured.

Click on image to enlarge

Using this and a related method (the I(t) technique) we have made several landmark findings in this high-profile area. Some of the following key issues affecting single molecule conductance will be discussed during the lecture: (1) Thermal effects on single molecular junctions. (2) Investigation of highly-transmissive molecular backbones. (3) Electrochemical switching and molecular conductance.

Speaker information

Prof Richard Nichols, Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool. Richard Nichols currently heads a research team investigating aspects of conduction in single molecules, molecular electronics, nanoscience, scanning probe microscopy, nanoscale electrochemistry, interfacial electrochemistry, metal plating and in-situ spectroscopic methods for studying electrode surfaces.

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