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Insulated molecular wires:inhibiting orthogonal contacts in metal complex based molecular junctions

Al-Owaedi, Oday and Bock, Sören and Milan, David C. and Oerthel, Marie-Christine and Inkpen, Michael S. and Yufit, Dmitry S. and Sobolev, Alexandre N. and Long, Nicholas J. and Albrecht, Tim and Higgins, Simon J. and Bryce, Martin R. and Nichols, Richard J. and Lambert, Colin John and Low, Paul J. (2017) Insulated molecular wires:inhibiting orthogonal contacts in metal complex based molecular junctions. Nanoscale, 9 (28). pp. 9902-9912. ISSN 2040-3364

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Abstract

Metal complexes are receiving increased attention as molecular wires in fundamental studies of the transport properties of metal|molecule|metal junctions. In this context we report the single-molecule conductance of a systematic series of d8 square-planar platinum(II) trans-bis(alkynyl) complexes with terminal trimethylsilylethynyl (C[triple bond, length as m-dash]CSiMe3) contacting groups, e.g. trans-Pt{C[triple bond, length as m-dash]CC6H4C[triple bond, length as m-dash]CSiMe3}2(PR3)2 (R = Ph or Et), using a combination of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) experiments in solution and theoretical calculations using density functional theory and non-equilibrium Green's function formalism. The measured conductance values of the complexes (ca. 3–5 × 10−5G0) are commensurate with similarly structured all-organic oligo(phenylene ethynylene) and oligo(yne) compounds. Based on conductance and break-off distance data, we demonstrate that a PPh3 supporting ligand in the platinum complexes can provide an alternative contact point for the STM tip in the molecular junctions, orthogonal to the terminal C[triple bond, length as m-dash]CSiMe3 group. The attachment of hexyloxy side chains to the diethynylbenzene ligands, e.g. trans-Pt{C[triple bond, length as m-dash]CC6H2(Ohex)2C[triple bond, length as m-dash]CSiMe3}2(PPh3)2 (Ohex = OC6H13), hinders contact of the STM tip to the PPh3 groups and effectively insulates the molecule, allowing the conductance through the full length of the backbone to be reliably measured. The use of trialkylphosphine (PEt3), rather than triarylphosphine (PPh3), ancillary ligands at platinum also eliminates these orthogonal contacts. These results have significant implications for the future design of organometallic complexes for studies in molecular junctions.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Nanoscale
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Physics
ID Code: 87020
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 24 Jul 2017 10:08
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2017 02:12
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/87020

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