Inelastic transport and low-bias rectification in a single-molecule diode

Joshua Hihath, Christopher Bruot, Hisao Nakamura, Yoshihiro Asai, Ismael Díez-Pérez, Youngu Lee, Luping Yu, Nongjian Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Scopus citations


Designing, controlling, and understanding rectification behavior in molecular-scale devices has been a goal of the molecular electronics community for many years. Here we study the transport behavior of a single molecule diode, and its nonrectifying, symmetric counterpart at low temperatures, and at both low and high biases to help elucidate the electron-phonon interactions and transport mechanisms in the rectifying system. We find that the onset of current rectification occurs at low biases, indicating a significant change in the elastic transport pathway. However, the peaks in the inelastic electron tunneling (IET) spectrum are antisymmetric about zero bias and show no significant changes in energy or intensity in the forward or reverse bias directions, indicating that despite the change in the elastic transmission probability there is little impact on the inelastic pathway. These results agree with first principles calculations performed to evaluate the IETS, which also allow us to identify which modes are active in the single molecule junction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8331-8339
Number of pages9
JournalACS nano
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 25 2011


  • IETS
  • STM-break junction
  • inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy
  • molecular electronics
  • single-molecule conductance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Hihath, J., Bruot, C., Nakamura, H., Asai, Y., Díez-Pérez, I., Lee, Y., Yu, L., & Tao, N. (2011). Inelastic transport and low-bias rectification in a single-molecule diode. ACS nano, 5(10), 8331-8339.