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Modelling the Effect of Contact Formation on Electron Transfer in Single-Molecule Device

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The electric properties of single-molecule devices are very sensitive to details of contact formation between the molecule and the metallic electrodes. However the factors that control the electron transfer through the molecule in these devices, corresponding to slightly different molecule-metal attachments, are not well understood. In this work, we used a self-consistent molecular dynamics method to study the effect of symmetric and asymmetric contact realizations on electron transfer between two metallic electrodes through a spatially symmetric conjugated molecule. Our results showed that both symmetric and asymmetric electron transfer, with respect to voltage inversion, can be obtained with the same molecule in agreement with the experiments. Besides, a central factor determining the asymmetric electron transfer through a symmetric molecule, caused by the asymmetric contact realization, is the oscillation of the entire molecule between both electrodes and its distortion.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2010.1387

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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