Stability optimisation of molecular electronic devices based on nanoelectrode–nanoparticle bridge platform in air and different storage liquids
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The long-term stability of metal nanoparticle–molecule junctions in molecular electronic devices based on nanoelectrodes (NEL) is a major challenge in the effort to bring related molecular electronic devices to application. To optimize the reproducibility of molecular electronic nanodevices, the time-dependent modification of such junctions as exposed to different media needs to be known. Here, we have studied (1) the stability of Au-NEL and (2) the electrical stability of molecule–Au nanoparticle (AuNP) junctions themselves with the molecule being 1,8-octanedithiol (ODT). Both the NELs only and the junctions were exposed to air and liquids such as deionized water, tetrahydrofuran, toluene and tetramethylethylenediamine (TMEDA) over a period of 1 month. The nanogaps remained stable in width when stored in either deionized water or toluene, whereas the current through 1,8-octanedithiol–NP junctions remained most stable when stored in TMEDA as compared to other solvents. Although it is difficult to follow the chemical processes in such devices in the 10-nm range with analytical methods, the behavior can be interpreted from known interactions of solvent molecules with electrodes and ODT.
KeywordsNanoelectronics Nanoelectrodes Molecular electronics Shelf-life Storage conditions
The authors thank Professor Maria Strømme and Dr. Ken Welch for usage of their probe station. For financial support, we are grateful to Uppsala University for supporting the U3MEC KoF initiative on molecular electronics and to the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), to the Wenner-Gren Foundations, and the Göran Gustafsson Foundation for postdoctoral fellowships to A.W, and Mirpur University of Science and Technology, Mirpur AJK, Pakistan, for partial financial support of S. H. M. J.
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