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Metal-Single-Molecule-Semiconductor Junctions Formed by a Radical Reaction Bridging Gold and Silicon Electrodes

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Chandramalika R. Peiris, Yan B. Vogel, Anton P. Le Brun, Albert C. Aragonès, Michelle L. Coote, Ismael Díez-Pérez, Simone Ciampi, Nadim Darwish

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14788-14797
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number37
Published18 Sep 2019

King's Authors


Here we report molecular films terminated with diazonium salts moieties at both ends which enables single-molecule contacts between gold and silicon electrodes at open circuit via a radical reaction. We show that the kinetics of film grafting is crystal-facet dependent, being more favorable on «111»than on «100», a finding that adds control over surface chemistry during the device fabrication. The impact of this spontaneous chemistry in single-molecule electronics is demonstrated using STM-break junction approaches by forming metal-single-molecule-semiconductor junctions between silicon and gold source and drain, electrodes. Au-C and Si-C molecule-electrode contacts result in single-molecule wires that are mechanically stable, with an average lifetime at room temperature of 1.1 s, which is 30-400% higher than that reported for conventional molecular junctions formed between gold electrodes using thiol and amine contact groups. The high stability enabled measuring current-voltage properties during the lifetime of the molecular junction. We show that current rectification, which is intrinsic to metal-semiconductor junctions, can be controlled when a single-molecule bridges the gap in the junction. The system changes from being a current rectifier in the absence of a molecular bridge to an ohmic contact when a single molecule is covalently bonded to both silicon and gold electrodes. This study paves the way for the merging of the fields of single-molecule and silicon electronics.

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