Single-walled carbon nanotube based molecular switch tunnel junctions

Chemphyschem. 2003 Dec 15;4(12):1335-9. doi: 10.1002/cphc.200300871.


This article describes two-terminal molecular switch tunnel junctions (MSTJs) which incorporate a semiconducting, single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) as the bottom electrode. The nanotube interacts noncovalently with a monolayer of bistable, nondegenerate [2]catenane tetracations, self-organized by their supporting amphiphilic dimyristoylphosphatidyl anions which shield the mechanically switchable tetracations from a two-micrometer wide metallic top electrode. The resulting 0.002 micron 2 area tunnel junction addresses a nanometer wide row of approximately 2000 molecules. Active and remnant current-voltage measurements demonstrated that these devices can be reconfigurably switched and repeatedly cycled between high and low current states under ambient conditions. Control compounds, including a degenerate [2]catenane, were explored in support of the mechanical origin of the switching signature. These SWNT-based MSTJs operate like previously reported silicon-based MSTJs, but differently from similar devices incorporating bottom metal electrodes. The relevance of these results with respect to the choice of electrode materials for molecular electronics devices is discussed.