Long-range electron tunnelling in oligo-porphyrin molecular wires

Gita Sedghi, Víctor Garcia-Suarez, Louisa Esdaile, Harry Anderson, Colin Lambert, Santiago Martin, Donald Bethell, Simon Higgins, Martin Elliott, Neil Bennett, J Macdonald, Richard Nichols

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    286 Citations (Scopus)


    Short chains of porphyrin molecules can mediate electron transport over distances as long as 5-10 nm with low attenuation. This means that porphyrin-based molecular wires could be useful in nanoelectronic and photovoltaic devices, but the mechanisms responsible for charge transport in single oligo-porphyrin wires have not yet been established. Here, based on electrical measurements of single-molecule junctions, we show that the conductance of the oligo-porphyrin wires has a strong dependence on temperature, and a weak dependence on the length of the wire. Although it is widely accepted that such behaviour is a signature of a thermally assisted incoherent (hopping) mechanism, density functional theory calculations and an accompanying analytical model strongly suggest that the observed temperature and length dependence is consistent with phase-coherent tunnelling through the whole molecular junction.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)517-523
    Number of pages7
    JournalNature Nanotechnology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


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