Visualization of charge transport through single molecules


I propose to investigate the conductance properties of single molecules in a radically new way, by utilizing LEEM (low-energy electron microscopy) and PEEM (photo-electron emission microscopy). Up to now, molecular electronics has suffered from the problem that it is impossible to 'see' if a molecule is actually present. Using LEEM/PEEM, I shall change that situation. I will both visualize and fundamentally study electron transport through single molecules. If I succeed, I will open a powerful new research field, as this technique will enable accurate transport studies in a broad set of fascinating systems. Simultaneously, my work will imply the breakthrough of LEEM and PEEM, which are rooted in surface science, to a much broader physics community.
My approach is to exploit the sensitivity of LEEM and PEEM to the local sample potential, to visualize charge transport in two-dimensional systems under a voltage bias. To specifically study transport through molecules, I shall therefore 'spread out' a set of molecular junctions in a two-dimensional structure. PEEM will also be used in a complementary way, i.e. to determine the energy levels of molecules coupled to gold. By combining molecular transport data, energy level information and additional optical spectroscopy (UV-Vis, infrared and Raman) a comprehensive data set is constructed that is exceptional in the field of molecular transport. Taking advantage of this opportunity, I will systematically investigate the influence of molecular conjugation and metal-molecule coupling on charge transport through molecules. My fundamental studies therefore relate to the technologically relevant question if we can manipulate molecular conductance properties by the proximity of other molecules or by external stimuli such as light.


Wetenschappelijk artikel

  • S.J. van der Molen, P Liljeroth(2010): Charge transport through molecular switches Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter pp. 133001 - 30 pages
  • S.J. van der Molen, R.M. Tromp, R. van Gastel(2010): Oppervlakken filmen met trage elektronen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Natuurkunde pp. 332 - 336
  • S.J. van der Molen, M.L. Trouwborst, E.H. Huisman, F.L. Bakker, B.J. van Wees(2011): The mechanical response of lithographically defined break junctions Journal of Applied Physics pp. 104305
  • C. M. Guédon, J. Zonneveld, E.H. Valkenier, J.C. Hummelen, S.J. van der Molen(2011): Controlling the interparticle distance in a 2D molecule-nanoparticle network Nanotechnology pp. 125205 - 5 pages
  • S.J. van der Molen, S.M. Schramm, J Kautz, A. Berghaus, O. Schaff, R.M. Tromp(2011): Low Energy Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy with ESCHER: Status and Prospects IBM Journal of Research and Development pp. 1:1 - 1:7
  • F. Mirjani, J.M Thijssen, S.J. van der Molen(2011): Advantages and limitations of transition voltage spectroscopy: a theoretical analysis. Physical Review pp. 115402
  • M.L. Trouwborst, C.A Martin, R.H.M. Smit, C.M. Guedon, T.A. Baart, S.J. van der Molen, J.M. van Ruitenbeek, S.J. van der Molen(2011): Transition Voltage Spectroscopy and the Nature of Vacuum Tunneling. Nano Letters pp. 614 - 617
  • S.J. van der Molen, I. Sikharulidze, R van Gastel, S. Schramm, J.P. Abrahams, B. Poelsma, R.M. Tromp(2011): Low energy electron microscopy imaging using Medipix2 detectors. Nucl. Instr. and Meth. in Phys. Res pp. S239 - S242
  • S.J. van der Molen, P. Liljeroth(2011): Conductance Properties of Switchable Molecules Molecular Switches, pp. 719 - 777
  • C.M. Guedon, H. Valkenier, T. Markussen, K.S. Thygesen, J.C. Hummelen, S.J. van der Molen(2012): Observation of quantum interference in molecular charge transport Nature Nanotechnology pp. 305 - 309
  • J.F. Dayen, E. Devid, M.V. Kamalakar, D. Golubev, C.M. Guédon, V. Faramarzi, B. Doudin, S.J. van der Molen(2013): Enhancing the molecular signature in molecule-nanoparticle networks via inelastic cotunneling Advanced Materials pp. 400 - 404
  • M. Ruben, S.J. van der Molen, M. Reed, R. Naaman, N.J. Tao, D. Natelson, H. van der Zant, J.B. Neaton, M. Calame, A. Nitzan, E. Scheer, M. Mayor(2013): Visions for a molecular future NATURE NANOTECHNOLOGY pp. 385 - 389
  • S.J. van der Molen(2013): Single-atom switches: Toggled with electrical current NAT NANOTECHNOL pp. 622 - 623
  • S.J. van der Molen, T.M. Markussen, C. Guedon, H. Valkenier, J.C. van Hummelen, K.S. Thygesen(2014): Cross-conjugation and quantum interference: a general correlation? PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS pp. 653 - 662
  • R.M. Tromp, M.S. Gordon, M.W. Copel, J. Kautz, S.J. van der Molen(2014): Titration of submonolayer Au growth on Si PHYSICAL REVIEW B pp. 35416 - 35416
  • T. Lemma, P.N. Martinho, E.J. Devid, J.F. Dayen, T.E. Keyes, U. Prendergast, C. Kuebel, B. Doubin, M. Ruben, S.J. van der Molen, V.M. Kamalakar(2014): The influence of molecular mobility on the properties of networks of gold nanoparticles and organic ligands BEILSTEIN JOURNAL pp. 1664 - 1674
  • S.J. van der Molen, J. Aarts, M.B.S. Hesselberth(2014): The surface structure of SrTiO3 at high temperatures under influence of oxygen APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS pp. 51609 - 51609
  • J. Kautz, S.J. van der Molen, R.M. Tromp, V.A.E.C. Janssen(2015): Differential reactivity of alkanethiols with Si(111)-Au 2D surface alloys SURFACE SCIENCE pp. L18 - L21
  • S.J. van der Molen, D Geelen, R.M. Tromp, J Kautz, J Jobst(2015): Nanoscale measurements of unoccupied band dispersion in few-layer graphene Nature Communications pp. 8926 - 8926
  • M.V. Kamalakar, P.N. Martinho, J.F. Dayen, T.E. Keyes, U. Prendergast, V. Meded, E.J. Devid, M. Ruben, S.J. van der Molen, T. Lemma, B. Doubin, F. Evers, I. Salitros, R. Gonzalez-Prieto(2015): Spin transition in arrays of gold nanoparticles and spin crossover molecules ACS NANO pp. 4496 - 4507
  • D. Geelen, J. Kautz, J. Jobst, S.J. Molen, R. Tromp(2015): Nanoscale measurements of unoccupied band dispersion in few-layer graphene Nature Communications pp. 8926 - 9926
  • J. Aarts, S.J. van der Molen, A. van der Torren(2015): Formation of a mixed ordered termination on the surface of LaAlO3 Physical Review B pp. 24542 - 24542
  • S. Faez, S.J. van der Molen, M. Orrit(2015): Optical tracing of multiple charges in single-electron devices PHYSICAL REVIEW B pp. 20540 - 20540
  • C. Schoenenberger, M. Calame, S. Blok, J. Liao, SJ. van der Molen, A. Vladyka, A.W. Holleitner, S. Diefenbach(2015): Ordered nanoparticle arrays interconnected by molecular linkers: electronic and optoelectronic properties CHEMICAL SOCIETY REVIEWS pp. 999 - 1014
  • J Jobst, H Weber, R.M. Tromp, J Kautz, S.J. van der Molen, C Sorger(2015): Low-Energy Electron Potentiometry Scientific Reports pp. 13604 - 13604


  • S.J. van der Molen(2010): Conductance switching of molecular devices: an experimentalist?s account
  • S.J. van der Molen(2010): Low-Energy Electron Microscopy for graphene growth
  • S.J. van der Molen(2010): How to interpret I(V)-curves of molecular junctions
  • S.J. van der Molen(2010): ESCHER: Electronic, Structural, Chemical and Biological Nanoimaging in Real Time
  • S.J. van der Molen(2011): Quantum interference in Molecular junctions
  • S.J. van der Molen(2011): From molecular switching to molecular logic?
  • S.J. van der Molen(2011): Conductance switching and Quantum interference in Molecular junctions
  • S.J. van der Molen(2012): Electron-phonon coupling beyond IETS
  • S.J. van der Molen(2012): Charge transport in functional networks of gold nanoparticles and organic molecules
  • S.J. van der Molen(2012): Molecular electronics: Getting the most out of molecular functionality?
  • S.J. van der Molen(2012): Conductance switching and Quantum interference in Molecular junctions
  • S.J. van der Molen(2012): Kwantummechanica in moleculen
  • S.J. van der Molen(2012): Quantum interference in Molecular junctions
  • S.J. van der Molen(2012): Charge transport in functional networks of gold nanoparticles and organic molecules
  • S.J. van der Molen(2012): Quantum interference in Molecular junctions
  • S.J. van der Molen(2013): Structure and control of interfaces
  • S.J. van der Molen(2013): Quantum transport at the molecular scale





Dr. ir. S.J. van der Molen

Verbonden aan

Universiteit Leiden, Faculteit der Wiskunde en Natuurwetenschappen, Leids Instituut voor Onderzoek in de Natuurkunde (LION)


Drs. C. Guédon, Dr. B. Kaliginedi, Drs. J. Kautz, Drs. J. Kautz, Dr. ir. S.J. van der Molen, Dr. A. Thete


01/06/2010 tot 31/03/2016