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Single Molecule Nanoelectrochemistry in Electrical Junctions

ConspectusIt is now possible to reliably measure single molecule conductance in a wide variety of environments including organic liquids, ultrahigh vacuum, water, ionic liquids, and electrolytes. The most commonly used methods deploy scanning probe microscopes, mechanically formed break junctions, or lithographically formed nanogap contacts. Molecules are generally captured between a pair of facing electrodes, and the junction current response is measured as a function of bias voltage. Gating electrodes can also be added so that the electrostatic potential at the molecular bridge can be independently controlled by this third noncontacting electrode. This can also be achieved in an electrolytic environment using a four-electrode bipotentiostatic configuration, which allows independent electrode potential control of the two contacting electrodes. This is commonly realized using an electrochemical STM and enables single molecule electrical characterization as a function of electrode potential and redox state...

Authors:   Richard J. Nichols; Simon J. Higgins
Journal:   Accounts of Chemical Research
Year:   2016
DOI:   10.1021/acs.accounts.6b00373
Publication date:   07-Oct-2016
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