, Volume 4, Issue 12, pp 1199-1207
Date: 30 Sep 2011

An electrochemically assisted mechanically controllable break junction approach for single molecule junction conductance measurements

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Abstract

We report an electrochemically assisted mechanically controllable break junction (EC-MCBJ) approach to investigating single molecule conductance. Electrode pairs connected with a gold nanobridge were fabricated by electrochemical deposition and then mounted on a homebuilt MCBJ platform. A large number of Au- molecule-Au junctions were produced sequentially by repeated breaking and reconnecting of the gold nanobridge. In order to measure their single molecule conductance, statistical conductance histograms were generated for benzene-1,4-dithiol (BDT) and 4,4′-bipyridine (BPY). The values extracted from these histograms were found to be in the same range as values previously reported in the literature. Our method is distinct from the ones used to acquire these previously reported literature values, however, in that it is faster, simpler, more cost-effective, and changing the electrode material is more convenient.