Large area arrays of discrete single-molecule junctions derived from host-guest complexes

Enrique Escorihuela, Jesus del Barrio, Ross J. Davidson, Andrew Beeby, Paul J. Low, Francesc Prez-Murano, Pilar Cea, Santiago Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The desire to continually reduce the lower limits of semiconductor integrated circuit (IC) fabrication methods continues to inspire interest in unimolecular electronics as a platform technology for the realization of future (opto)electronic devices. However, despite successes in developing methods for the construction and measurement of single-molecule and large-area molecular junctions, exercising control over the precise junction geometry remains a significant challenge. Here, host-guest complexes of the wire-like viologen derivative 1,1 '-bis(4-(methylthio)-phenyl)-[4,4 '-bipyridine]-1,1 '-diium chloride ([1][Cl]2) and cucurbit[7]uril (CB[7]) have been self-assembled in a regular pattern over a gold substrate. Subsequently, ligandless gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) synthesized in situ are deposited over the host-guest array. The agreement between the conductance of individual mono-molecular junctions, appropriately chosen as a function of the AuNP diameter, within this array determined by conductive probe atomic force microscope (c-AFM) and true single-molecule measurements for a closely similar host-guest complex within a scanning tunneling microscope break-junction (STM-BJ) indicates the formation of molecular junctions derived from these host-guest complexes without deleterious intermolecular coupling effects.By insulating molecular components within host-guest architectures, intermolecular 'cross-talk' effects within 'large area' junctions can be averted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1238-1246
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Early online date20 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2024


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