Conductance Switching in Single Molecules Through Conformational Changes

Science  22 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5525, pp. 2303-2307
DOI: 10.1126/science.1060294

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We tracked over time the conductance switching of single and bundled phenylene ethynylene oligomers isolated in matrices of alkanethiolate monolayers. The persistence times for isolated and bundled molecules in either the ON or OFF switch state range from seconds to tens of hours. When the surrounding matrix is well ordered, the rate at which the inserted molecules switch is low. Conversely, when the surrounding matrix is poorly ordered, the inserted molecules switch more often. We conclude that the switching is a result of conformational changes in the molecules or bundles, rather than electrostatic effects of charge transfer.

  • * Present address: Motorola, 7700 South River Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85248, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: dla3{at} (D.L.A.); tour{at} (J.M.T.); stm{at}

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