Extreme long-lifetime self-assembled monolayer for air-stable molecular junctions

Ningyue Chen, Shuwei Li, Peng Zhao, Ran Liu, Yu Xie, Jin Liang Lin, Christian A. Nijhuis, Bingqian Xu, Liang Zhang*, Huaping Xu*, Yuan Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


The molecular electronic devices based on self-assembled monolayer (SAM) on metal surfaces demonstrate novel electronic functions for device minimization yet are unable to realize in practical applications, due to their instability against oxidation of the sulfur-metal bond. This paper describes an alternative to the thiolate anchoring group to form stable SAMs on gold by selenides anchoring group. Because of the formation of strong selenium-gold bonds, these stable SAMs allow us to incorporate them in molecular tunnel junctions to yield extremely stable junctions for over 200 days. A detailed structural characterization supported by spectroscopy and first-principles modeling shows that the oxidation process is much slower with the selenium-gold bond than the sulfur-gold bond, and the selenium-gold bond is strong enough to avoid bond breaking even when it is eventually oxidized. This proof of concept demonstrates that the extraordinarily stable SAMs derived from sel-enides are useful for long-lived molecular electronic devices and can possibly become important in many air-stable applications involving SAMs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereadh3412
Number of pages12
JournalScience advances
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2023


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