The Bicyclo[2.2.2]octane Motif: A Class of Saturated Group 14 Quantum Interference Based Single-molecule Insulators

29 October 2018, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The electronic transmission through σ-conjugated molecules can be fully suppressed by destructive quantum interference, which makes them potential candidates for single-molecule insulators. The first molecule with clear suppression of the single-molecule conductance due to σ-interference was recently found in the form of a functionalized bicyclo[2.2.2]octasilane. Here we continue the search for potential single-molecule insulators based on saturated group 14 molecules. Using a high-throughput screening approach, we assess the electron transport properties of the bicyclo[2.2.2]octane class by systematically varying the constituent atoms between carbon, silicon, and germanium, thus exploring the full chemical space of 771 different molecules. The majority of the molecules in the bicyclo[2.2.2]octane class are found to be highly insulating molecules. Though the all-silicon molecule is a clear-cut case of σ-interference, it is not unique within its class and there are many potential molecules that we predict to be more insulating. The finding of this class of quantum interference based single-molecule insulators indicates that a broad range of highly insulating saturated group 14 molecules are likely to exist


Molecular Electronics
High Throughput Screening Method

Supplementary materials

Screening SI submission1

Supplementary weblinks


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.