Interface driven engineering of charge transport across molecular tunneling junctions

Chen, Jiahao
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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.

Molecular electronics, Self-assembled monolayer, Tunneling junctions