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Nature. 2002 Oct 31;419(6910):906-9.

Measurement of the conductance of a hydrogen molecule.

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Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratorium, Universiteit Leiden, PO Box 9504, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.


Recent years have shown steady progress towards molecular electronics, in which molecules form basic components such as switches, diodes and electronic mixers. Often, a scanning tunnelling microscope is used to address an individual molecule, although this arrangement does not provide long-term stability. Therefore, metal-molecule-metal links using break-junction devices have also been explored; however, it is difficult to establish unambiguously that a single molecule forms the contact. Here we show that a single hydrogen molecule can form a stable bridge between platinum electrodes. In contrast to results for organic molecules, the bridge has a nearly perfect conductance of one quantum unit, carried by a single channel. The hydrogen bridge represents a simple test system in which to understand fundamental transport properties of single-molecule devices.


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