Published January 11, 2022 | Version v1
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Empirical Parameter to Compare Molecule–Electrode Interfaces in Large-Area Molecular Junctions

Description

This paper describes a simple model for comparing the degree of electronic coupling between molecules and electrodes across different large-area molecular junctions. The resulting coupling parameter can be obtained directly from current–voltage data or extracted from published data without fitting. We demonstrate the generalizability of this model by comparing over 40 different junctions comprising different molecules and measured by different laboratories. The results agree with existing models, reflect differences in mechanisms of charge transport and rectification, and are predictive in cases where experimental limitations preclude more sophisticated modeling. We also synthesized a series of conjugated molecular wires, in which embedded dipoles are varied systematically and at both molecule–electrode interfaces. The resulting current–voltage characteristics vary in nonintuitive ways that are not captured by existing models, but which produce trends using our simple model, providing insights that are otherwise difficult or impossible to explain. The utility of our model is its demonstrative generalizability, which is why simple observables like tunneling decay coefficients remain so widely used in molecular electronics despite the existence of much more sophisticated models. Our model is complementary, giving insights into molecule–electrode coupling across series of molecules that can guide synthetic chemists in the design of new molecular motifs, particularly in the context of devices comprising large-area molecular junctions.

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Funding

MP3 – Multi-Potent Polymer Precursor approach for novel conjugated polymers 885881
European Commission