Switching of a photochromic molecule on gold electrodes: Single-molecule measurements

Jin He, Fan Chen, Paul A. Liddell, Joakim Andréasson, Stephen D. Straight, Devens Gust, Thomas Moore, Ana Moore, Jun Li, Otto F. Sankey, Stuart Lindsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


We have studied the electronic changes caused by light-induced isomerization of a photochromic molecule between an open state (that absorbs in the UV to become closed) and a closed state (that absorbs in the visible to become open). Data obtained using a newly developed repetitive break junction method are interpreted in terms of single-molecule resistances of 526 ± 90 MΩ in the open form and 4 ± 1 MΩ in the closed form when the molecule is bound between two gold contacts via dithiol linkages. The corresponding ratio of open to closed resistance is in close agreement with the results of ab initio calculations, though the measured resistances are about half of the calculated values. Optical spectroscopy indicates that the photoisomerization occurs in both directions on small gold particles, evaporated thin gold films, and in the break junction experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-702
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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