Single molecule electronics and tunneling in molecules

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Covalent tethering of single molecules between a gold surface and a gold nano-contact permits reliable measurement of the electronic properties of single molecules. Understanding of molecular electronics at the single molecule level should pave the way for understanding of more complex, multi-molecule devices. A single molecule study of n-alkanes shows that the electron decay rate, βN, is strongly affected by the nature of the connections to the molecule, βN being small and decreasing with applied bias. Mechanical (non-bonded) contacts result in βN increasing with bias, an outcome completely inconsistent with tunneling theory. The degree to which theory and experiment diverge even for such simple molecular electronic components is illustrated by the observation of contact charging in alkanethiol monolayers. We speculate that standard tunneling theory does not provide a full description of charge transport in even these simple molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4867-4870
Number of pages4
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 1: Regular Papers and Short Notes and Review Papers
Issue number7 B
StatePublished - Jul 2002


  • Molecular electronics
  • Scanning probe microscopy
  • Tunneling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Single molecule electronics and tunneling in molecules'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this