A scanning tunnelling microscope is used to pull a polythiophene wire from a Au(111) surface while measuring the current traversing the junction. Abrupt current increases measured during the lifting procedure are associated with the detachment of molecular subunits, in apparent contradiction with the expected exponential decrease of the conductance with wire length. Ab initio simulations reproduce the experimental data and demonstrate that this unexpected behavior is due to release of mechanical stress in the wire, paving the way to mechanically gated single-molecule electronic devices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry