Publications by authors named "Emma J Dell"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Single-molecule diodes with high rectification ratios through environmental control.

Nat Nanotechnol 2015 Jun 25;10(6):522-7. Epub 2015 May 25.

1] Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, New York, New York 10027, USA [2] Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA.

Molecular electronics aims to miniaturize electronic devices by using subnanometre-scale active components. A single-molecule diode, a circuit element that directs current flow, was first proposed more than 40 years ago and consisted of an asymmetric molecule comprising a donor-bridge-acceptor architecture to mimic a semiconductor p-n junction. Several single-molecule diodes have since been realized in junctions featuring asymmetric molecular backbones, molecule-electrode linkers or electrode materials. Despite these advances, molecular diodes have had limited potential for applications due to their low conductance, low rectification ratios, extreme sensitivity to the junction structure and high operating voltages. Here, we demonstrate a powerful approach to induce current rectification in symmetric single-molecule junctions using two electrodes of the same metal, but breaking symmetry by exposing considerably different electrode areas to an ionic solution. This allows us to control the junction's electrostatic environment in an asymmetric fashion by simply changing the bias polarity. With this method, we reliably and reproducibly achieve rectification ratios in excess of 200 at voltages as low as 370 mV using a symmetric oligomer of thiophene-1,1-dioxide. By taking advantage of the changes in the junction environment induced by the presence of an ionic solution, this method provides a general route for tuning nonlinear nanoscale device phenomena, which could potentially be applied in systems beyond single-molecule junctions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2015.97DOI Listing
June 2015

Molecular length dictates the nature of charge carriers in single-molecule junctions of oxidized oligothiophenes.

Nat Chem 2015 Mar 2;7(3):209-14. Epub 2015 Feb 2.

Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York 10027, USA.

To develop advanced materials for electronic devices, it is of utmost importance to design organic building blocks with tunable functionality and to study their properties at the molecular level. For organic electronic and photovoltaic applications, the ability to vary the nature of charge carriers and so create either electron donors or acceptors is critical. Here we demonstrate that charge carriers in single-molecule junctions can be tuned within a family of molecules that contain electron-deficient thiophene-1,1-dioxide (TDO) building blocks. Oligomers of TDO were designed to increase electron affinity and maintain delocalized frontier orbitals while significantly decreasing the transport gap. Through thermopower measurements we show that the dominant charge carriers change from holes to electrons as the number of TDO units is increased. This results in a unique system in which the charge carrier depends on the backbone length, and provides a new means to tune p- and n-type transport in organic materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchem.2160DOI Listing
March 2015

Length-dependent conductance of oligothiophenes.

J Am Chem Soc 2014 Jul 15;136(29):10486-92. Epub 2014 Jul 15.

Department of Applied Physics and Mathematics, Columbia University , New York, New York 10027, United States.

We have measured the single-molecule conductance of a family of oligothiophenes comprising 1-6 thiophene moieties terminated with methyl-sulfide linkers using the scanning tunneling microscope-based break-junction technique. We find an anomalous behavior: the peak of the conductance histogram distribution does not follow a clear exponential decay with increasing number of thiophene units in the chain. The electronic properties of the materials were characterized by optical spectroscopy and electrochemistry to gain an understanding of the factors affecting the conductance of these molecules. We postulate that different conformers in the junction are a contributing factor to the anomalous trend in the observed conductance as a function of molecule length.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja505277zDOI Listing
July 2014

Bandgap engineering through controlled oxidation of polythiophenes.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2014 Feb 21;53(7):1832-6. Epub 2014 Jan 21.

Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, 3000 Broadway, MC3124, New York, NY 10027 (USA) http://camposgroup.chem.columbia.edu.

The use of Rozen's reagent (HOF⋅CH3 CN) to convert polythiophenes to polymers containing thiophene-1,1-dioxide (TDO) is described. The oxidation of polythiophenes can be controlled with this potent, yet orthogonal reagent under mild conditions. The oxidation of poly(3-alkylthiophenes) proceeds at room temperature in a matter of minutes, introducing up to 60 % TDO moieties in the polymer backbone. The resulting polymers have a markedly low-lying lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO), consequently exhibiting a small bandgap. This approach demonstrates that modulating the backbone electronic structure of well-defined polymers, rather than varying the monomers, is an efficient means of tuning the electronic properties of conjugated polymers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201309398DOI Listing
February 2014

Impact of molecular symmetry on single-molecule conductance.

J Am Chem Soc 2013 Aug 6;135(32):11724-7. Epub 2013 Aug 6.

Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA.

We have measured the single-molecule conductance of a family of bithiophene derivatives terminated with methyl sulfide gold-binding linkers using a scanning tunneling microscope based break-junction technique. We find a broad distribution in the single-molecule conductance of bithiophene compared with that of a methyl sulfide terminated biphenyl. Using a combination of experiments and calculations, we show that this increased breadth in the conductance distribution is explained by the difference in 5-fold symmetry of thiophene rings as compared to the 6-fold symmetry of benzene rings. The reduced symmetry of thiophene rings results in a restriction on the torsion angle space available to these molecules when bound between two metal electrodes in a junction, causing each molecular junction to sample a different set of conformers in the conductance measurements. In contrast, the rotations of biphenyl are essentially unimpeded by junction binding, allowing each molecular junction to sample similar conformers. This work demonstrates that the conductance of bithiophene displays a strong dependence on the conformational fluctuations accessible within a given junction configuration, and that the symmetry of such small molecules can significantly influence their conductance behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja4055367DOI Listing
August 2013

Protein surface interactions probed by magnetic field effects on chemical reactions.

J Am Chem Soc 2010 Feb;132(5):1466-7

Centre for Advanced Electron Spin Resonance, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3TA, UK.

Here we have employed the effects of weak static magnetic fields (not exceeding 46 mT) on radical recombination reactions to investigate protein-substrate interactions. Pulsed laser excitation of an aqueous solution of anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS(2-)) and either hen egg white lysozyme (HEWL) or bovine serum albumin (BSA) produces the triplet state of the radical pair (T)[AQDS(3-*) Trp(*)] by a photoinduced electron transfer reaction from tryptophan residues. Time-resolved absorption techniques were employed to study the recombination characteristics of these radical pairs at different static magnetic fields and ionic strengths. The experimental data in connection with the simulated curves unequivocally show that the radical pair has a lifetime of the order of microseconds in both systems (HEWL and BSA). However, the radical pair is embedded within a binding pocket of the BSA protein, while the (otherwise identical) radical pair, being subject to attractive Coulomb forces, resides on the protein surface in the HEWL system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja908988uDOI Listing
February 2010
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