Abstract

A basic aim in molecular electronics is to understand transport through a single molecule connected to two electrodes. Substantial progress towards this goal has been made over the past decade as a result of advances in both experimental techniques and theoretical methods. Nonetheless, a fundamental and technologically important issue, current-induced local heating of molecules, has received much less attention. Here, we report on a combined experimental and theoretical study of local heating in single molecules (6-, 8- and 10-alkanedithiol) covalently attached to two gold electrodes as a function of applied bias and molecular length. We find that the effective local temperature of the molecular junction first increases with applied bias, and then decreases after reaching a maximum. At fixed bias, the effective temperature decreases with increasing molecular length. These experimental findings are in agreement with hydrodynamic predictions, which include both electron-phonon and electron-electron interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-703
Number of pages6
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Volume2
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007

Fingerprint

Heating
Molecules
heating
Electrons
Electron-electron interactions
Molecular electronics
molecules
Electrodes
electrons
electrodes
molecular electronics
Induced currents
Gold
electron scattering
Hydrodynamics
hydrodynamics
gold
Temperature
temperature
predictions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

Cite this

Local ionic and electron heating in single-molecule junctions. / Huang, Zhifeng; Chen, Fang; D'Agosta, Roberto; Bennett, Peter; Di Ventra, Massimiliano; Tao, Nongjian.

In: Nature Nanotechnology, Vol. 2, No. 11, 11.2007, p. 698-703.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Huang, Zhifeng ; Chen, Fang ; D'Agosta, Roberto ; Bennett, Peter ; Di Ventra, Massimiliano ; Tao, Nongjian. / Local ionic and electron heating in single-molecule junctions. In: Nature Nanotechnology. 2007 ; Vol. 2, No. 11. pp. 698-703.
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