Side-Group-Mediated Mechanical Conductance Switching in Molecular Junctions

Ismael, Ali Khalid and Wang, Kun and Vezzoli, Andrea and Al-Khaykanee, Mohsin K. and Gallagher, Harry E. and Grace, Iain M. and Lambert, Colin J. and Xu, Bingqian and Nichols, Richard J. and Higgins, Simon J. (2017) Side-Group-Mediated Mechanical Conductance Switching in Molecular Junctions. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 56 (48). pp. 15378-15382. ISSN 1433-7851

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A key target in molecular electronics has been molecules having switchable electrical properties. Switching between two electrical states has been demonstrated using such stimuli as light, electrochemical voltage, complexation and mechanical modulation. A classic example of the latter is the switching of 4,4-bipyridine, leading to conductance modulation of around 1 order of magnitude. Here, we describe the use of side-group chemistry to control the properties of a single-molecule electromechanical switch, which can be cycled between two conductance states by repeated compression and elongation. While bulky alkyl substituents inhibit the switching behavior, -conjugated side-groups reinstate it. DFT calculations show that weak interactions between aryl moieties and the metallic electrodes are responsible for the observed phenomenon. This represents a significant expansion of the single-molecule electronics tool-box for the design of junctions with electromechanical properties.

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Journal Article
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Angewandte Chemie International Edition
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22 Jun 2019 08:24
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 05:33