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Beilstein J Nanotechnol. 2011;2:699-713. doi: 10.3762/bjnano.2.76. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

An MCBJ case study: The influence of π-conjugation on the single-molecule conductance at a solid/liquid interface.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Bern, Freiesstrasse 3, CH-3012, Bern, Switzerland.


π-Conjugation plays an important role in charge transport through single molecular junctions. We describe in this paper the construction of a mechanically controlled break-junction setup (MCBJ) equipped with a highly sensitive log I-V converter in order to measure ultralow conductances of molecular rods trapped between two gold leads. The current resolution of the setup reaches down to 10 fA. We report single-molecule conductance measurements of an anthracene-based linearly conjugated molecule (AC), of an anthraquinone-based cross-conjugated molecule (AQ), and of a dihydroanthracene-based molecule (AH) with a broken conjugation. The quantitative analysis of complementary current-distance and current-voltage measurements revealed details of the influence of π-conjugation on the single-molecule conductance.


anthraquinone; mechanically controlled break junction; single-molecule conductance; π-conjugation

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