Inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy in molecular junctions showing quantum interference

Abstract : Destructive quantum interference effect is implemented in large area molecular junctions to improve signatures of electron-phonon interaction. Vertical molecular junctions based on a cross-conjugated anthraquinone layer were fabricated and low-noise transport measurements were performed by acquiring simultaneously the current-voltage characteristics, its second derivative, and the differential conductance. Signatures of vibrational modes excited by inelastic events are present in the whole measured voltage range and superpose to the conductance suppression induced by destructive quantum interference. As a consequence vibrational modes have improved visibility in the low energy window (<80 meV). Inelastic electron transport spectroscopy data are compared to infrared attenuated total reflection spectroscopy on Au/anthraquinone thin films. Common vibrational modes can be clearly identified, but inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy reveals the existence of vibrational modes in a wider energy range (0–400 meV) where infrared spectroscopy is lacking.
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C Salhani, R Della Rocca, C Bessis, R Bonnet, C Barraud, et al.. Inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy in molecular junctions showing quantum interference. Physical Review B : Condensed matter and materials physics, American Physical Society, 2017, 95, pp.165431 - 165431. ⟨10.1063/1.2390698⟩. ⟨hal-01550359⟩

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