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Structural Regulation of Mechanical Gating in Molecular Junctions

Publication at Faculty of Mathematics and Physics |


In contrast to silicon-based transistors, single molecule junctions can be gated by simple mechanical means. Specifically, charge can be transferred between the junction's electrodes and its molecular bridge when the interelectrode distance is modified, leading to variations in the electronic transport properties of the junction.

While this effect has been studied extensively, the influence of the molecular orientation on mechanical gating has not been addressed, despite its potential influence on the gating effectiveness. Here, we show that the same molecular junction can experience either clear mechanical gating or none, depending on the molecular orientation in the junctions.

The effect is found in silver-ferrocene-silver break junctions and analyzed in view of ab initio and transport calculations, where the influence of the molecular orbital geometry on charge transfer to or from the molecule is revealed. The molecular orientation is thus a new degree of freedom that can be used to optimize mechanically gated molecular junctions.