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Single-Molecule Junction Origami

preprint
submitted on 01.05.2020 and posted on 05.05.2020 by Chuanli Wu, Demetris Bates, Sara Sangtarash, Nicolò Ferri, Aidan Thomas, Simon Higgins, Craig M. Robertson, Richard Nichols, Hatef Sadeghi, Andrea Vezzoli
Stimuli-responsive molecular junctions, where the conductance can be altered by an external perturbation, are an important class of nanoelectronic devices. These have recently attracted interest as large effects can be introduced through exploitation of quantum phenomena. We show here that significant changes in conductance can be attained as a molecule is repeatedly compressed and relaxed, resulting in molecular folding along a flexible fragment and cycling between an anti and a syn conformation. Power spectral density analysis and DFT transport calculations show that through-space tunnelling between two phenyl fragments is responsible for the conductance increase as the molecule is mechanically folded to the syn conformation. This phenomenon represents a novel class of mechanoresistive molecular devices, where the functional moiety is embedded in the conductive backbone and exploits intramolecular nonbonding interactions, in contrast to most studies where mechanoresistivity arises from changes in the molecule-electrode interface.

Funding

China Scholarship Council 201806860023

Royal Society University Research Fellowship URF\R1\191241

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship ECF-2018-375

UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship MR/S015329

EPSRC EP/M029522/1

EPSRC EP/M005046/1

History

Email Address of Submitting Author

andrea.vezzoli@liverpool.ac.uk

Institution

University of Liverpool

Country

United Kingdom

ORCID For Submitting Author

0000-0002-8059-0113

Declaration of Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interests

Version Notes

1.0 (first submission)

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