Electrical Resistance of AgTS-S(CH2)n-1CH3//Ga2O3/EGaln Tunneling Junctions

Ludovico Cademartiri, Martin M. Thuo, Christian A. Nijhuis, William F. Reus, Simon Tricard, Jabulani R. Barber, Rana N. S. Sodhi*, Peter Brodersen*, Choongik Kim, Ryan C. Chiechi, George M. Whitesides*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


Tunneling junctions having the structure AgTS–S(CH2)n−1CH3//Ga2O3/EGaIn allow physical–organic studies of charge transport across self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). In ambient conditions, the surface of the liquid metal electrode (EGaIn, 75.5 wt % Ga, 24.5 wt % In, mp 15.7 °C) oxidizes and adsorbs―like other high-energy surfaces―adventitious contaminants. The interface between the EGaIn and the SAM thus includes a film of metal oxide, and probably also organic material adsorbed on this film; this interface will influence the properties and operation of the junctions. A combination of structural, chemical, and electrical characterizations leads to four conclusions about AgTS–S(CH2)n−1CH3//Ga2O3/EGaIn junctions. (i) The oxide is ∼0.7 nm thick on average, is composed mostly of Ga2O3, and appears to be self-limiting in its growth. (ii) The structure and composition (but not necessarily the contact area) of the junctions are conserved from junction to junction. (iii) The transport of charge through the junctions is dominated by the alkanethiolate SAM and not by the oxide or by the contaminants. (iv) The interface between the oxide and the eutectic alloy is rough at the micrometer scale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10848-10860
JournalJournal of physical chemistry C
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2012
Externally publishedYes

Cite this