Tunneling junctions having the structure Ag-TS-S(CH2)(n-1)CH3//Ga2O3/EGaIn allow physical-organic studies of charge transport across self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). In ambient conditions, the surface of the liquid metal electrode (EGaIn, 75.5 wt % Ga, 24.5 wt % In, mp 15.7 degrees C) oxidizes and adsorbs-like other high-energy surfaces-adventitious contaminants. The interface between the EGaIn and the SAM thus includes a film of metal oxide, and probably also organic material adsorbed on this film; this interface will influence the properties and operation of the junctions. A combination of structural, chemical, and electrical characterizations leads to four conclusions about Ag-TS-S(CH2)(n-1)CH3//Ga2O3/EGaIn junctions. (i) The oxide is similar to 0.7 nm thick on average, is composed mostly of Ga2O3, and appears to be self-limiting in its growth. (ii) The structure and composition (but not necessarily the contact area) of the junctions are conserved from junction to junction. (iii) The transport of charge through the junctions is dominated by the alkanethiolate SAM and not by the oxide or by the contaminants. (iv) The interface between the oxide and the eutectic alloy is rough at the micrometer scale.
Electrical Resistance of Ag-TS-S(CH2)(n-1)CH3//Ga2O3/EGaln Tunneling Junctions / Cademartiri, L; Thuo, MM; Nijhuis, CA; Reus, WF; Tricard, S; Barber, JR; Sodhi, RNS; Brodersen, P; Kim, C; Chiechi, RC; Whitesides, GM. - In: JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY. C. - ISSN 1932-7447. - 116:20(2012), pp. 10848-10860. [10.1021/jp212501s]
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