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Toward control of the metal-organic interfacial electronic structure in molecular electronics: a first-principles study on self-assembled monolayers of pi-conjugated molecules on noble metals

Toward control of the metal-organic interfacial electronic structure in molecular electronics: a first-principles study on self-assembled monolayers of pi-conjugated molecules on noble metals

Nano Letters 7(4): 932-940

Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of organic molecules provide an important tool to tune the work function of electrodes in plastic electronics and significantly improve device performance. Also, the energetic alignment of the frontier molecular orbitals in the SAM with the Fermi energy of a metal electrode dominates charge transport in single-molecule devices. On the basis of first-principles calculations on SAMs of pi-conjugated molecules on noble metals, we provide a detailed description of the mechanisms that give rise to and intrinsically link these interfacial phenomena at the atomic level. The docking chemistry on the metal side of the SAM determines the level alignment, while chemical modifications on the far side provide an additional, independent handle to modify the substrate work function; both aspects can be tuned over several eV. The comprehensive picture established in this work provides valuable guidelines for controlling charge-carrier injection in organic electronics and current-voltage characteristics in single-molecule devices.

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Accession: 050807876

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 17326692

DOI: 10.1021/nl0629106

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