The anchoring effect on the spin transport properties and I–V characteristics of pentacene molecular devices suspended between nickel electrodes
Spin-polarized transport properties are determined for pentacene sandwiched between Ni surface electrodes with various anchoring ligands. These calculations are carried out using spin density functional theory in tandem with a non-equilibrium Green's function technique. The presence of a Se atom at the edge of the pentacene molecule significantly modifies the transport properties of the device because Se has a different electronegativity than S. Our theoretical results clearly show a larger current for spin-up electrons than for spin-down electrons in the molecular junction that is attached asymmetrically across the Se linker at one side of the Ni electrodes (in an APL magnetic orientation). Moreover, this molecular junction exhibits pronounced NDR as the bias voltage is increased from 0.8 to 1.0 V. However, this novel NDR behavior is only detected in this promising pentacene molecular device. The NDR in the current–voltage (I–V) curve results from the narrowness of the density of states for the molecular states. The feasibility of controlling the TMR is also predicted in these molecular device nanostructures. Spin-dependent transmission calculations show that the sign and strength of the current–bias voltage characteristics and the TMR could be tailored for the organic molecule devices. These molecular junctions are joined symmetrically and asymmetrically between Ni metallic probes across the S and Se atoms (at the ends of the edges of the pentacene molecule). Our theoretical findings show that spin-valve phenomena can occur in these prototypical molecular junctions. The TMR and NDR results show that nanoscale junctions with spin valves could play a vital role in the production of novel functional molecular devices.