Characterizing molecular junctions through the mechanically controlled break-junction approach
Joseph M Hamill,1 Kun Wang,1 Bingqian Xu1,2
1Single Molecule Study Laboratory, College of Engineering and Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, 2College of Engineering, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
Abstract: Mechanically controlled break-junction techniques, which emerged right after the invention of scanning tunneling microscopy, have enabled substantial progress in characterizing single-molecule junctions toward the ultimate goal of molecular devices. Dramatic advances have been made in design, fabrication, control, and understanding of the measurements of single-molecule junctions over the past decade. In this overview, we present the evolution of some of the recent issues, and an outlook for further developments in mechanically controlled break-junction techniques for characterizing molecular junctions. Topics of recent interest include contact geometry, electrochemical redox experiments, external bias effect, and environmental influences. Each will need further investigation to thoroughly understand the experimental information revealed from a molecular junction.
Keywords: mechanically controlled molecular break junction, scanning probe microscopy
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