Dependency of the Tunneling Decay Coefficient in Molecular Tunneling Junctions on the Topography of the Bottom Electrodes

Li Yuan, Li Jiang, Bo Zhang, Christian A. Nijhuis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


A controversy in molecular electronics is the unexplained large spread in values of the tunneling decay coefficient β in tunneling junctions with self‐assembled monolayers of n‐alkanethiolates (SCn). We show control of the β value over the range 0.4–1.0 nC−1 in junctions by changing the topography of the bottom electrodes that support the SAMs. Very low β values (0.4–0.5 nC−1) are obtained for rough surfaces with large areas of exposed grain boundaries, while β=1.0 nC−1 for smooth surfaces with small areas of exposed grain boundaries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3377-3381
JournalAngewandte Chemie (international edition)
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • bottom electrodes
  • charge transport
  • molecular electronics
  • self-assembled monolayers
  • tunneling decay constant

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