Transition from direct to inverted charge transport Marcus regions in molecular junctions via molecular orbital gating

Li Yuan, Lejia Wang, Alvar R. Garrigues, Li Jiang, Harshini Venkata Annadata, Marta Anguera Antonana, Enrique Barco*, Christian A. Nijhuis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Solid-state molecular tunnel junctions are often assumed to operate in the Landauer regime, which describes essentially activationless coherent tunnelling processes. In solution, on the other hand, charge transfer is described by Marcus theory, which accounts for thermally activated processes. In practice, however, thermally activated transport phenomena are frequently observed also in solid-state molecular junctions but remain poorly understood. Here, we show experimentally the transition from the Marcus to the inverted Marcus region in a solid-state molecular tunnel junction by means of intra-molecular orbital gating that can be tuned via the chemical structure of the molecule and applied bias. In the inverted Marcus region, charge transport is incoherent, yet virtually independent of temperature. Our experimental results fit well to a theoretical model that combines Landauer and Marcus theories and may have implications for the interpretation of temperature-dependent charge transport measurements in molecular junctions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-329
JournalNature nanotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

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