Potential Dependence of Mechanical Stability and Electronic Coupling of Single S-Au Bonds

Hui Wang, Zixiao Wang, Yan Wang, Joshua Hihath, Hong Yuan Chen, Yueqi Li, Nongjian Tao

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2 Scopus citations


Providing a mechanically stable and electronically efficient coupling between a molecule and an electrode is critical to the study of charge transfer and conductance of the molecule. A common method is to link the molecule to Au electrodes via a linker (e.g., thiol terminal of the molecule). Here we study the mechanical stability and electronic coupling of a S-Au bond in single-molecule junctions over a broad range of electrode potentials. Our results show that the mechanical and electromechanical properties of molecule-electrode contact undergo a systematic change with the potential involving Au oxidation at positive potentials and S protonation at negative potentials. The study establishes the potential range for a stable S-Au bond and determines the potential dependence of the mechanical and electromechanical properties of the molecule-electrode contact, which is crucial to the interpretation of potential-dependent charge transfer in electrochemistry and electrochemical gating of charge transport in molecular electronics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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