Electron tunneling in the presence of adsorbed molecules

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Surface Science, 2007, 601 (24), pp. 5715 - 5720
Issue Date:
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We perform ab initio density functional theory calculations of the tunneling current through an electrode-molecule-electrode system with four different small organic molecules, benzenedithiol (BDT), benzenedimethanethiol (XYL), diethynylbenzene (DEB) and dodecanethiol (C12), sandwiched between two gold (1 1 1) electrodes. For the XYL molecule, we test the effect of alternate bonding types and sites. Although this reduces the current considerably, it does not account for the orders of magnitude differences between experimental and theoretical results in the literature. We also model a typical STM experimental setup with a gold nanoparticle absorbed on a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) of the molecule with a gap between the nanoparticle and probing tip and show that such a gap could account for these differences. Finally, we describe the effect that the gap has on the ability of STS measurements to distinguish between the i(V) characteristics and thicknesses of self-assembled monolayers of different molecules. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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