Conductance of ‘bare-bones’ tripodal molecular wires†
Controlling the orientation of molecular conductors on the electrode surfaces is a critical factor in the development of single-molecule conductors. In the current study, we used the scanning tunnelling microscopy-based break junction (STM-BJ) technique to explore ‘bare-bones’ tripodal molecular wires, employing different anchor groups (AGs) at the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ of the tripod. The triarylphosphine tris(4-(methylthio)phenyl)phosphine and its corresponding phosphine sulfide showed only a single high conductance feature in the resulting 1- and 2-dimensional conductance histograms, whereas analogous molecules with fewer than three thiomethyl AGs did not show clear conductance features. Thus, by systematic molecular modifications and with the aid of supporting DFT calculations, the binding geometry, with respect to the surface, was elucidated.