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

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.


Email Address of Submitting Author


Weizmann Institute of Science



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Version Notes

First submission