20 April 2018

High Electrical Conductivity of Single Metal–Organic Chains

Article: published in Advanced Materials by José M. Soler, Juan José Palacios, Julio Gómez‐Herrero and Félix ZamoraIFIMAC researchers and members of the Department of Condensed Matter Physics.

Molecular wires are essential components for future nanoscale electronics. However, the preparation of individual long conductive molecules is still a challenge. MMX metal–organic polymers are quasi‐1D sequences of single halide atoms (X) bridging subunits with two metal ions (MM) connected by organic ligands. They are excellent electrical conductors as bulk macroscopic crystals and as nanoribbons. However, according to theoretical calculations, the electrical conductance found in the experiments should be even higher. Here, a novel and simple drop‐casting procedure to isolate bundles of few to single MMX chains is demonstrated. Furthermore, an exponential dependence of the electrical resistance of one or two MMX chains as a function of their length that does not agree with predictions based on their theoretical band structure is reported. This dependence is attributed to strong Anderson localization originated by structural defects. Theoretical modeling confirms that the current is limited by structural defects, mainly vacancies of iodine atoms, through which the current is constrained to flow. Nevertheless, measurable electrical transport along distances beyond 250 nm surpasses that of all other molecular wires reported so far. This work places in perspective the role of defects in 1D wires and their importance for molecular electronics. [Full article]

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