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Research Highlight: Stoddart

Electrostatic anchors create robust molecular junctions

Northwestern University researchers have developed a new anchoring strategy, called the electrostatic anchor, to form robust gold−molecule−gold junctions for use in molecular electronics.

The charge transport in single-molecule junctions depends critically on the chemical identity of the anchor groups that are used to connect the molecular wires to the electrodes. In a new research, Professor Fraser Stoddart’s group has reported a new anchoring strategy, called an electrostatic anchor, formed through the efficient Coulombic interaction between the gold electrodes and positively charged pyridinium terminal groups on the single molecule. Binary electronic switching is also observed in dicationic viologen molecular junctions, demonstrating an electron injection-induced redox switching in single-molecule junctions. In summary, this anchoring strategy and redox-switching mechanism could constitute the basis for a new class of redox-activated single-molecule switches.

The research was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

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