Rectification of current responds to incorporation of fullerenes into mixed-monolayers of alkanethiolates in tunneling junctions†
This paper describes the rectification of current through molecular junctions comprising self-assembled monolayers of decanethiolate through the incorporation of C60 fullerene moieties bearing undecanethiol groups in junctions using eutectic Ga–In (EGaIn) and Au conducting probe AFM (CP-AFM) top-contacts. The degree of rectification increases with increasing exposure of the decanethiolate monolayers to the fullerene moieties, going through a maximum after 24 h. We ascribe this observation to the resulting mixed-monolayer achieving an optimal packing density of fullerene cages sitting above the alkane monolayer. Thus, the degree of rectification is controlled by the amount of fullerene present in the mixed-monolayer. The voltage dependence of R varies with the composition of the top-contact and the force applied to the junction and the energy of the lowest unoccupied π-state determined from photoelectron spectroscopy is consistent with the direction of rectification. The maximum value of rectification R = |J(+)/J(−)| = 940 at ±1 V or 617 at ±0.95 V is in agreement with previous studies on pure monolayers relating the degree of rectification to the volume of the head-group on which the frontier orbitals are localized.