Staff and students from the Department of Chemistry at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University are making continued progress with research projects on applying graphene in the field of molecular electronics.

In 2016, a team led by Dr Li Yang (pictured below, right) measured for the first time the charge transfer of single-molecule junctions using graphene and gold electrodes. Their work was later recognised with the publishing of a paper in top journal Nano Letters.

Now, the latest research paper co-authored by the team has been published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, with an accompanying video presentation available for download here. The journal has an impact factor of 9.35 (the average number of citations in a year given to its papers over the previous two years).

First author of the paper PhD student Qian Zhang (pictured above, left, with second author Shuhui Tao, centre) explained the significance of the new findings:

“We have established a slightly higher conductance value with our current system compared to the previous one, and this phenomenon has been detailed and explained both in theory and by experimental trials,” he said.

“We demonstrate that substituting a metallic electrode with a graphene electrode has strong consequences on the efficiency of the transportation of electrical charge,” Dr Yang elaborated. “This advance is important since future applications of molecular electronics will rely on integrating molecules alongside conventional semiconductor technologies.”

Regarding his work as a researcher at XJTLU, Qian commented:

“The University has comprehensive resources for research and I’ve had very good experiences working here. As a supervisor, Dr Yang is generous in offering her help and supervision while also giving us the space to try out our own ideas. It’s truly a pleasure to be part of her group.”

For more information about the work going on in the Department of Chemistry as well as PhD opportunities and other study options available visit their official webpage.

story and photo by Danny Abbasi

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