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A Chemically Soldered Polyoxometalate Single-Molecule Transistor

revised on 04.02.2020, 10:56 and posted on 05.02.2020, 05:44 by Chuanli Wu, Xiaohang Qiao, Craig M. Robertson, Simon Higgins, Chenxin Cai, Richard Nichols, Andrea Vezzoli
Polyoxometalates have been proposed in the literature as promising components for nanoelectronic applications, where they could offer key advantages with their structural versatility and rich electrochemistry. Apart from a few studies on their ensemble behaviour (for instance, as monolayers or thin films) this potential remains largely unexplored. We synthesised a pyridyl-capped Anderson-Evans polyoxometalate and used it to fabricate single-molecule junctions, by using the organic termini to chemically “solder” a single metal oxide cluster to two nanoelectrodes through coordination bonds. Operating the device in an electrochemical environment allowed us to probe charge transport through different oxidation states of the polyoxometalate, and we report here an efficient three-state transistor behaviour. Conductance data fits a quantum tunnelling transport mechanism, with charge having different tunnelling probabilities through different oxidation states of the polyoxometalate. Our results show the promise of such compounds in nanoelectronics, and are, to our best knowledge, the first report on the single-entity electrochemical behaviour of polyoxometalates.


Royal Society University Research Fellowship URF\R1\191241

UK EPSRC EP/M005046/1

UK EPSRC M029522/1

UK EPSRC EP/M014169/1

CSC Scholarship 201806860023


Email Address of Submitting Author


University of Liverpool


United Kingdom

ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest

Version Notes

1.1 - TOC Updated