Single-molecule conductance of redox molecules in electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy

W. Haiss, Tim Albrecht, H. van Zalinge, S.J. Higgins, D. Bethell, H. Hobenreich, D.J. Schiffrin, Richard John Nichols, A.M. Kuznetsov, Jingdong Zhang, Qijin Chi, Jens Ulstrup

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Experimental data and theoretical notions are presented for 6-[1'-(6-mercapto-hexyl)-[4,4']bipyridinium]-hexane-1-thiol iodide (6V6) "wired" between a gold electrode surface and tip in an in situ scanning tunneling microscopy configuration. The viologen group can be used to "gate" charge transport across the molecular bridge through control of the electrochemical potential and consequently the redox state of the viologen moiety. This gating is theoretically considered within the framework of superexchange and coherent two-step notions for charge transport. It is shown here that the absence of a maximum in the I-tunneling versus electrode potential relationship can be fitted by a "soft" gating concept. This arises from large configurational fluctuations of the molecular bridge linked to the gold contacts by flexible chains. This view is incorporated in a formalism that is well-suited for data analysis and reproduces in all important respects the 6V6 data for physically sound values of the appropriate parameters. This study demonstrates that fluctuations of isolated configurationally "soft" molecules can dominate charge transport patterns and that theoretical frameworks for compact monolayers may not be directly applied under such circumstances.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number24
Pages (from-to)6703-6712
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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