Interface driven engineering of charge transport across molecular tunneling junctions

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Chen, Jiahao
Major Professor
Martin Thuo
Committee Member
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Materials Science and Engineering
Materials engineers create new materials and improve existing materials. Everything is limited by the materials that are used to produce it. Materials engineers understand the relationship between the properties of a material and its internal structure — from the macro level down to the atomic level. The better the materials, the better the end result — it’s as simple as that.
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Materials Science and Engineering

Molecular electronics uses organic molecules to replace inorganic electrical components in circuits. Molecular electronics is a promising field that can extend the Moore’s law since scaling down transistors with molecules is comparatively easier than inorganic componnets fabricated using optical lithography.

This thesis describes a platform that can be used to study molecular electronics, which is self-assembled monolayers based large area tunneling junction with Eutectic Gallium Indium as top electrode and metal thin film as bottom electrode.

The role of interfaces in the junctions has been evaluated. The morphology of both bottom electrode and top electrode affects the charge transport behavior (in these system, it is quantum tunneling) across those molecular tunneling junctions. The effect of the bottom electrode morphology on the molecular structure of the SAM has been discussed in details.

Effect of molecular dipole on charge transport across the junctions has been studied. The dipole can affect the coupling between the molecule and the substrate and hence the charge transport. For a more complex system where the dipole has been decoupled from the substrate, the effect of dipole on tunneling can only be delineated from a statistical analysis.

From these studies, it has been acknowledged that interfaces plays an important role in molecular junctions. Therefore, to design or control the charge transport by engineering the interfaces is made possible.

Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2017