Single-molecule transport at a rectifying GaAs contact

Andrea Vezzoli, Richard J. Brooke, Nicolò Ferri, Simon J. Higgins, Walther Schwarzacher*, Richard J. Nichols

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
233 Downloads (Pure)


In most single- or few-molecule devices, the contact electrodes are simple ohmic resistors. Here we describe a new type of single-molecule device in which metal and semiconductor contact electrodes impart a function, namely, current rectification, which is then modified by a molecule bridging the gap. We study junctions with the structure Au STM tip/X/n-GaAs substrate, where "X" is either a simple alkanedithiol or a conjugated unit bearing thiol/methylthiol contacts, and we detect current jumps corresponding to the attachment and detachment of single molecules. From the magnitudes of the current jumps we can deduce values for the conductance decay constant with molecule length that agree well with values determined from Au/molecule/Au junctions. The ability to impart functionality to a single-molecule device through the properties of the contacts as well as through the properties of the molecule represents a significant extension of the single-molecule electronics "tool-box".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1115
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2017


  • gallium arsenide
  • rectification
  • Schottky diode
  • single molecule junctions
  • STM


Dive into the research topics of 'Single-molecule transport at a rectifying GaAs contact'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this