First single molecule potentiometer

Jul 03, 2015

Interpreting electron transport through molecular junctions lies in the broad interest of understanding nanoscale junctions, which are sensitive to both physical and chemical parameters. 

In a Letter recently published in Physical Review, Sujoy Karan, and colleagues from the group of Professor Richard Berndt, the Max-Planck-Institut für Mikrostrukturphysik and the Universities of Hamburg and Würzburg report how the electrostatic potential is distributed across a junction comprising single molecules coupled to macroscopic electrodes. 

Contacting a porphyrin molecule on gold in a low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope, they showed a way to utilize a sharp spectral feature to obtain information on the local potential of the molecule. 

The paper is featured in APS Physics.