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Single-molecule electrical contacts on silicon electrodes under ambient conditions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Albert C. Aragones, Nadim Darwish, Simone Ciampi, Fausto Sanz, J. Justin Gooding, Ismael Diez-Perez

Original languageEnglish
Article number15056
Number of pages8
JournalNature Communications
Early online date13 Apr 2017
Accepted/In press23 Feb 2017
E-pub ahead of print13 Apr 2017
PublishedApr 2017


King's Authors


The ultimate goal in molecular electronics is to use individual molecules as the active electronic component of a real-world sturdy device. For this concept to become reality, it will require the field of single-molecule electronics to shift towards the semiconducting platform of the current microelectronics industry. Here, we report silicon-based single-molecule contacts that are mechanically and electrically stable under ambient conditions. The single-molecule contacts are prepared on silicon electrodes using the scanning tunnelling microscopy break-junction approach using a top metallic probe. The molecular wires show remarkable current-voltage reproducibility, as compared to an open silicon/nano-gap/metal junction, with current rectification ratios exceeding 4,000 when a low-doped silicon is used. The extension of the single-molecule junction approach to a silicon substrate contributes to the next level of miniaturization of electronic components and it is anticipated it will pave the way to a new class of robust single-molecule circuits.

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