Pair tunneling through single molecules

Jens Koch*, M. E. Raikh, Felix Von Oppen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


By a polaronic energy shift, the effective charging energy of molecules can become negative, favoring ground states with even numbers of electrons. Here we show that charge transport through such molecules near ground-state degeneracies is dominated by tunneling of electron pairs which coexists with (featureless) single-electron cotunneling. Because of the restricted phase space for pair tunneling, the current-voltage characteristics exhibit striking differences from the conventional Coulomb blockade. In asymmetric junctions, pair tunneling can be used for gate-controlled current rectification and switching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number056803
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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