Electrochemical gating for single-molecule electronics with hybrid Au|graphene contacts.



Tao, Shuhui, Zhang, Qian, Vezzoli, Andrea ORCID: 0000-0002-8059-0113, Zhao, Cezhou, Zhao, Chun, Higgins, Simon J ORCID: 0000-0003-3518-9061, Smogunov, Alexander, Dappe, Yannick J, Nichols, Richard J ORCID: 0000-0002-1446-8275 and Yang, Li ORCID: 0000-0002-1040-4223
(2022) Electrochemical gating for single-molecule electronics with hybrid Au|graphene contacts. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics : PCCP.

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Abstract

The single-molecular conductance of a redox active viologen molecular bridge between Au|graphene electrodes has been studied in an electrochemical gating configuration in an ionic liquid medium. A clear "off-on-off" conductance switching behaviour has been achieved through gating of the redox state when the electrochemical potential is swept. The Au|viologen|graphene junctions show single-molecule conductance maxima centred close to the equilibrium redox potentials for both reduction steps. The peak conductance of Au|viologen|graphene junctions during the first reduction is significantly higher than that of previously measured Au|viologen|Au junctions. This shows that even though the central viologen moiety is not directly linked to the enclosing electrodes, substituting one gold contact for a graphene one nevertheless has a significant impact on junction conductance values. The experimental data was compared against two theoretical models, namely a phase coherent tunnelling and an incoherent "hopping" model. The former is a simple gating monoelectronic model within density functional theory (DFT) which discloses the charge state evolution of the molecule with electrode potential. The latter model is the collective Kuznetsov Ulstrup model for 2-step sequential charge transport through the redox centre in the adiabatic limit. The comparison of both models to the experimental data is discussed for the first time. This work opens perspectives for graphene-based molecular transistors with more effective gating and fundamental understanding of electrochemical electron transfer at the single molecular level.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Physical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2022 16:26
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2022 00:12
DOI: 10.1039/d1cp05486d
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3150519