Research Article

Nano Research

, Volume 4, Issue 12, pp 1199-1207

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

  • Yang YangAffiliated withState Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University
  • , Zhaobin ChenAffiliated withState Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University
  • , Junyang LiuAffiliated withState Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University
  • , Miao LuAffiliated withMicro-Electro-Mechanical Systems Research Center, Pen-Tung Sah Micro-Nano Technology Institute, Xiamen University
  • , Dezhi YangAffiliated withState Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University
  • , Fangzu YangAffiliated withState Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University
  • , Zhongqun TianAffiliated withState Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University Email author 

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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. http://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1007%2Fs12274-011-0170-5/MediaObjects/12274_2011_170_Fig1_HTML.gif

Keywords

Single molecule junction conductance kelectrochemical deposition kmechanically controlled break junction (MCBJ) benzene-1,4-dithiol kbipyridine