Measurement of single-molecule conductance

Fang Chen, Joshua Hihath, Zhifeng Huang, Xiulan Li, Nongjian Tao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

361 Scopus citations


What is the conductance of a single molecule? This basic and seemingly simple question has been a difficult one to answer for both experimentalists and theorists. To determine the conductance of a molecule, one must wire the molecule reliably to at least two electrodes. The conductance of the molecule thus depends not only on the intrinsic properties of the molecule, but also on the electrode materials. Furthermore, the conductance is sensitive to the atomiclevel details of the molecule-electrode contact and the local environment of the molecule. Creating identical contact geometries has been a challenging experimental problem, and the lack of atomiclevel structural information of the contacts makes it hard to compare calculations with measurements. Despite the difficulties, researchers have made substantial advances in recent years. This review provides an overview of the experimental advances, discusses the advantages and drawbacks of different techniques, and explores remaining issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnual Review of Physical Chemistry
PublisherAnnual Reviews Inc.
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)0824310586, 9780824310585
StatePublished - 2007

Publication series

NameAnnual Review of Physical Chemistry
ISSN (Print)0066-426X


  • Break junction
  • Molecular electronics
  • Quantum point contact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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