21 Scopus citations


Electron-phonon interactions are extremely important for understanding charge transport, inelastic processes, heating, and heat dissipation in nanoscale molecular and atomic devices. In molecular electronics Inelastic Electron Tunneling Spectroscopy (IETS) has recently emerged as one of the premier methods for characterizing molecular-scale junctions and devices. This method provides a distinct chemical fingerprint for identifying molecules within a junction, and has allowed for clear demonstrations of single molecule devices, the effects of electric field on molecular orbitals, the importance of molecular configuration on conductance, as well as information about the charge transport mechanism. In this review we will discuss the use of Point Contact (PC) and IET spectroscopies on molecular and atomic systems, discuss the basic principles involved in inelastic transport for these spectroscopic methods to function, and focus on the experimental techniques involved and the important conclusions drawn from the experiments performed to date.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-208
Number of pages20
JournalProgress in Surface Science
Issue number9-12
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Electron-Phonon interactions
  • Inelastic Electron Tunneling Spectroscopy (IETS)
  • Mechanically controlled break junction
  • Molecular Electronics
  • Point-Contact Spectroscopy (PCS)
  • STM break junction
  • Single-molecule conductance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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