Molecular transport junctions: Vibrational effects

Michael Galperin*, Mark A. Ratner, Abraham Nitzan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

721 Scopus citations


Transport of electrons in a single molecule junction is the simplest problem in the general subject area of molecular electronics. In the past few years, this area has been extended to probe beyond the simple tunnelling associated with large energy gaps between electrode Fermi level and molecular levels, to deal with smaller gaps, with near-resonance tunnelling and, particularly, with effects due to interaction of electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom. This overview is devoted to the theoretical and computational approaches that have been taken to understanding transport in molecular junctions when these vibronic interactions are involved. After a short experimental overview, and discussion of different test beds and measurements, we define a particular microscopic model Hamiltonian. That overall Hamiltonian can be used to discuss all of the phenomena dealt with subsequently. These include transition from coherent to incoherent transport as electron/vibration interaction increases in strength, inelastic electron tunnelling spectroscopy and its interpretation and measurement, affects of interelectronic repulsion treated at the Hubbard level, noise in molecular transport junctions, non-linear conductance phenomena, heating and heat conduction in molecular transport junctions and current-induced chemical reactions. In each of these areas, we use the same simple model Hamiltonian to analyse energetics and dynamics. While this overview does not attempt survey the literature exhaustively, it does provide appropriate references to the current literature (both experimental and theoretical). We also attempt to point out directions in which further research is required to answer cardinal questions concerning the behaviour and understanding of vibrational effects in molecular transport junctions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103201
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 14 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular transport junctions: Vibrational effects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this