Advanced Materials

Chemical Interactions at Metal/Molecule Interfaces in Molecular Junctions—A Pathway Towards Molecular Recognition


  • Financial support by the Odysseus program of the Flemish Government, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) within SFB 569, the Swiss National Science Foundation (NF), and the Swiss National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) ‘Nanoscale Science’ is gratefully acknowledged. The authors also thank F. Eberle (Univ. of Ulm) for technical support and P. Ziemann (Univ. of Ulm) for discussions.


A 4-aminothiophenol self-assembled monolayer (see image) is prepared on top of a Au(111) crystal, which is subsequently metallized by a nearly closed Pd overlayer of monoatomic height. Analysis of its structural setup and electronic properties reveals that the monolayer consists of a minimum of two molecular layers, and strong chemical interactions between the metal overlayer and the amino groups are found to play a decisive role in determining the overall electronic, and thus the transport properties, of the layer/metal contact.

original image