Covalently Bridging Gaps in Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes with Conducting Molecules

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Science  20 Jan 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5759, pp. 356-359
DOI: 10.1126/science.1120986

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Molecular electronics is often limited by the poorly defined nature of the contact between the molecules and the metal surface. We describe a method to wire molecules into gaps in single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Precise oxidative cutting of a SWNT produces carboxylic acid–terminated electrodes separated by gaps of ≤10 nanometers. These point contacts react with molecules derivatized with amines to form molecular bridges held in place by amide linkages. These chemical contacts are robust and allow a wide variety of molecules to be tested electrically. In addition to testing molecular wires, we show how to install functionality in the molecular backbone that allows the conductance of the single-molecule bridges to switch with pH.

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