Exploring the impact of select anchor groups for norbornadiene/quadricyclane single-molecule switches
Journal article, 2023

To achieve the ultimate limit of device miniaturization, it is necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of the structure–property relationship in functional molecular systems used in single-molecule electronics. This study reports the synthesis and characterization of a novel series of norbornadiene derivatives capped with thioether and thioester anchor groups. Utilizing the mechanically controllable break junction technique, the impact of these capping groups on conductance across single-molecule junctions is investigated. Among the selection of anchor groups, norbornadiene capped with thioacetate and tert-butyl groups exhibits higher conductance (G ≈ 4 × 10−4 G0) compared to methyl thioether (G ≈ 2 × 10−4 G0). Electronic transmission through the considered set of single-molecule junctions has been simulated. The computational results for electron transport across these junctions align closely with the experimental findings, with the thioacetate- and tert-butyl-substituted systems outperforming the methyl thioether-capped derivative. In terms of junction stability, the methyl thioether-capped system is the most resilient, maintaining consistent conductance even after approximately 10 000 cycles. Meanwhile, the likelihood of observing molecular plateaus in both the thioacetate- and tert-butyl-substituted systems declines over time. These findings substantially advance both the design and understanding of functional molecular systems in the realm of single-molecule electronics, particularly in the context of molecular photoswitches.


Shima Ghasemi

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Luca Ornago

Delft University of Technology

Zacharias Liasi

University of Copenhagen

Magnus Bukhave Johansen

University of Copenhagen

Theo Juncker von Buchwald

University of Copenhagen

Andreas Erbs Hillers-Bendtsen

University of Copenhagen

Sebastiaan van der Poel

Delft University of Technology

Helen Hölzel

Polytechnic University of Catalonia

Zhihang Wang

University of Cambridge

Francoise Mystere Amombo Noa

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Lars Öhrström

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Kurt V. Mikkelsen

University of Copenhagen

Herre S. J. van der Zant

Delft University of Technology

Samuel Lara Avila

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Quantum Device Physics

Kasper Moth-Poulsen

Chalmers University of Technology

Journal of Materials Chemistry C

20507534 (ISSN) 20507526 (eISSN)

Vol. 11 44 15379-15776

Subject Categories

Chemical Sciences



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