Negative differential resistance in C60-based electronic devices

Xiaohong Zheng, Wenchang Lu, Tesfaye A. Abtew, Vincent Meunier, Jerry Bernholc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Unlike single-C60-based devices, molecular assemblies based on two or more appropriately connected C60 molecules have the potential to exhibit negative differential resistance (NDR). In this work, we evaluate electron transport properties of molecular devices built from two C60 molecules connected by an alkane chain, using a nonequilibrium Green function technique implemented within the framework of density functional theory. We find that electronic conduction in these systems is mediated by the lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals (LUMOs) of C60, as in the case of a single-C60-based device. However, as the positions of the LUMOs are pinned to the chemical potentials of their respective electrodes, their relative alignment shifts with applied bias and leads to a NDR at a very low bias. Furthermore, the position and magnitude of the NDR can be tuned by chemical modification of the C60 molecules. The role of the attached molecules is to shift the LUMO position and break the symmetry between the forward and reverse currents. The NDR feature can also be controlled by changing the length of the alkane linker. The flexibility and richness of C60-based molecular electronics components point to a potentially promising route for the design of molecular devices and chemical sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7205-7210
Number of pages6
JournalACS nano
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 28 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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