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Advanced Materials

What is the Barrier for Tunneling Through Alkyl Monolayers? Results from n- and p-Si–Alkyl/Hg Junctions


  • We thank L. Kronik, L. Segev, R. Naaman (WIS), A. Nitzan (TAU), and J. Gooding (UNSW) for stimulating discussions. Work at the WIS was supported by the Minerva Foundation (Munich), the Bikura fund of the Israel Science Foundation (Jerusalem) and the Kimmel Centre for Nanoscale Science, that at Princeton by the National Science Foundation (DMR-0408589) and the Princeton MRSEC of the National Science Foundation (DMR-0213706) and that at the UNSW by the Australian Research Council. AS is a Clore pre-doctoral fellow. DC holds the Schaefer Energy Research chair. Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the authors.


By combining experimental electron-transport results through an alkane monolayer sandwiched between Si and a metal, photoemission data from the monolayer-on-Si, and theoretical calculations, we show that transport is dominated by a distribution of mixed Si molecular levels, rather than a single molecular level, as shown schematically in the figure.

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