Metal-molecule contacts and charge transport across monomolecular layers: measurement and theory

Phys Rev Lett. 2002 Aug 19;89(8):086802. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.89.086802. Epub 2002 Aug 5.


Charge transport studies across molecular length scales under symmetric and asymmetric metal-molecule contact conditions using a simple crossed-wire tunnel junction technique are presented. It is demonstrated that oligo(phenylene ethynylene), a conjugated organic molecule, acts like a molecular wire under symmetric contact conditions, but exhibits characteristics of a molecular diode when the connections are asymmetric. To understand this behavior, we have calculated current-voltage (I-V) characteristics using extended Huckel theory coupled with a Green's function approach. The experimentally observed I-V characteristics are in excellent qualitative agreement with the theory.