Influence of linker molecules on charge transport through self-assembled single-nanoparticle devices

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We investigate electrical characteristics of single-electron electrode/nanoisland/electrode devices formed by alkanedithiol assisted self-assembly. Contrary to predictions of the orthodox model for double tunnel junction devices, we find a significant (∼fivefold) discrepancy in single-electron charging energies determined by Coulomb blockade (CB) voltage thresholds in current-voltage measurements versus those determined by an Arrhenius analysis of conductance in the CB region. The energies do, however, scale with particle sizes, consistent with single-electron charging phenomena. We propose that the discrepancy is caused by a multibarrier junction potential that leads to a voltage divider effect. Temperature and voltage dependent conductance measurements performed outside the blockade region are consistent with this picture. We simulated our data using a suitably modified orthodox model. © 2005 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review Letters

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