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Mechanically-Tunable Quantum Interference in Ferrocene-Based Single-Molecule Junctions

preprint
submitted on 06.05.2020 and posted on 07.05.2020 by María Camarasa-Gómez, Daniel Hernangómez-Pérez, Michael S. Inkpen, Giacomo Lovat, E-Dean Fung, Xavier Roy, Latha Venkataraman, Ferdinand Evers
Ferrocenes are ubiquitous organometallic building blocks that comprise a Fe atom sandwiched between two cyclopentadienyl (Cp) rings that rotate freely at room temperature. Of widespread interest in fundamental studies and real-world applications, they have also attracted
some interest as functional elements of molecular-scale devices. Here we investigate the impact of
the configurational degrees of freedom of a ferrocene derivative on its single-molecule junction
conductance. Measurements indicate that the conductance of the ferrocene derivative, which is
suppressed by two orders of magnitude as compared to a fully conjugated analog, can be modulated
by altering the junction configuration. Ab initio transport calculations show that the low conductance is a consequence of destructive quantum interference effects that arise from the hybridization of metal-based d-orbitals and the ligand-based π-system. By rotating the Cp rings, the hybridization, and thus the quantum interference, can be mechanically controlled, resulting in a conductance modulation that is seen experimentally.

History

Email Address of Submitting Author

daniel.hernangomez@weizmann.ac.il

Institution

Weizmann Institute of Science

Country

Israel

ORCID For Submitting Author

0000-0002-4277-0236

Declaration of Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Version Notes

First submission

Exports