Research Seminar: Single molecule electronics and electrochemistry

Events

Speaker:

Professor Richard Nichols

Abstract:

Measurement of the electrical properties of single molecules sandwiched between metal contacts has recently become an experimental reality. In recent years, we have developed and exploited novel scanning-tunneling-microscopy (STM) methods, named I(s) method for achieving this feat. In our methods, a gold substrate is coated with a low-coverage monolayer of molecules bearing two terminal thiol moieties, which interact strongly with gold. A gold STM tip is employed, and in the course of the experiments, one (or a few) molecule(s) forms a junction between tip and substrate. The tip is brought close to the surface (without making contact), then withdrawn while the junction conductance is measured. Using this method and a related method (the I(t) technique) we have made several landmark findings in this high-profile area. Some of the following key issues affecting single molecule conductance will be discussed during the seminar.

Speaker's Bio:

Professor Richard J. Nichols obtained a Ph.D from the Southampton University, UK in 1988. He is a Fellow of the International Society of Electrochemistry (2008) and a full professor in the University of Liverpool since 2006. His work has significantly contributed to the further understanding of a range of important electrochemical processes, particularly in the areas of fundamental electrochemistry, electrocatalysis and electrodeposition. He is perhaps best known in the electrochemical community for his pioneering in-situ electrochemical scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) work, which has been arguably the most significant new technique in electrochemistry in the last three decades. He has published more than 150 peer-reviewed journals, including Nature Nanotechnology, Nano letters, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Angewandte Chemie-International Edition etc.