Long-lived charged states of single porphyrin-tape junctions under ambient conditions

Edmund Leary, Georg Kastlunger, Bart Limburg, Laura Rincón-García, Juan Hurtado-Gallego, M. Teresa González, Gabino Rubio Bollinger, Nicolás Agrait, Simon J. Higgins, Harry L. Anderson, Robert Stadler*, Richard J. Nichols

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The ability to control the charge state of individual molecules wired in two-terminal single-molecule junctions is a key challenge in molecular electronics, particularly in relation to the development of molecular memory and other computational componentry. Here we demonstrate that single porphyrin molecular junctions can be reversibly charged and discharged at elevated biases under ambient conditions due to the presence of a localised molecular eigenstate close to the Fermi edge of the electrodes. In particular, we can observe long-lived charge-states with lifetimes upwards of 1-10 seconds after returning to low bias and large changes in conductance, in excess of 100-fold at low bias. Our theoretical analysis finds charge-state lifetimes within the same time range as the experiments. The ambient operation demonstrates that special conditions such as low temperatures or ultra-high vacuum are not essential to observe hysteresis and stable charged molecular junctions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNanoscale Horizons
Pages (from-to)49-58
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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