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A review on the mechanisms and characterization methods of electronic transport through self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) is presented. Using SAMs of alkanethiols in a nanometer-scale-device structure, tunneling is unambiguously demonstrated as the main intrinsic conduction mechanism for defect-free large bandgap SAMs, exhibiting well-known temperature and length dependencies. In-elastic electron tunneling spectroscopy exhibits clear vibrational modes of the molecules in the device, presenting direct evidence of the presence of molecules in the device.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2005