Covalently-bonded Single Molecule Junctions with Stable and Reversible Photoswitched Conductivity

Through molecular engineering, single diarylethenes were covalently sandwiched between graphene electrodes to form stable molecular conduction junctions. Our experimental and theoretical studies of these junctions consistently show and interpret reversible conductance photoswitching at room temperature and stochastic switching between different conductive states at low temperature at a single-molecule level.


Molecular-Scale Electronics: From Concept to Function

The creation of electrical circuits by using single molecules is currently a research focus. This Review covers the major advances with the most general applicability and emphasizes new insights into the development of efficient platform methodologies for building reliable molecular electronic devices with desired functionalities through the combination of programmed bottom-up self-assembly and sophisticated top-down device fabrication.


Carbon Electrode-Molecule Junctions: A Reliable Platform for Molecular Electronics

This Account exemplifies our ongoing interest and great effort in developing efficient lithographic methodologies capable of creating stable molecular electronic devices, with a particular focus on graphene electrode-molecule single-molecule junctions. One unique feature of these devices is the fact that they contain only one or two molecules as conductive elements, thus forming the basis of building a new generation of multifunctional integrated circuits and sensors, which reach single-molecule sensitivity.


Synergistic Photomodulation of Capacitive Coupling and Charge Separation toward Functional Organic Field-Effect Transistors with High Responsivity

Interface engineering is a promising and powerful tool to build multifunctional OFETs and ultrasensitive sensors. In this work, we demonstrated an efficient approach for preparing functional OFETs with high responsivity, which are capable of photomodulating the carrier density in the conductive channel by using SP- co -MMA as the photoactive gate dielectrics at the dielectric/semiconductor interface.


High-Performance Monolayer Field-Effect Transistors with Aqueous Stability and High Sensitivity

Low-voltage, low-cost, high-performance monolayer field-effect transistors that comprise a densely-packed, long-range ordered monolayer, spin-coated from core-cladding liquid-crystalline pentathiophenes, and a solution-processed high-k HfO2-based nanoscale gate dielectric have been developed. These monolayers are light-sensitive and are able to function as reporters to convert analyte binding events into electrical signals with ultrahigh sensitivity (ca. 10 ppb).


Point Decoration of Silicon Nanowires: An Approach Toward Single-Molecule Electrical Detection

A rational bioassay design of lithographically integrating individual point scattering sites into electrical circuits is capable of realizing real-time, label-free biodetection of influenza H1N1 viruses with single-molecule sensitivity and high selectivity by using silicon nanowires. It offers a promising platform for exploring the dynamics of stochastic processes in biological systems and gaining information from genomics to proteomics to improve accurate molecular and even point-of-care clinical diagnosis.


Single-Molecule Electrical Biosensors Based on Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

We highlight the progress of the burgeoning field of single-molecule electrical biosensors based on nanomaterials, with a particular focus on single-walled carbon nanotubes, for better understanding of the molecular structure, interacting dynamics, and molecular functions. The key issues that be critical to the success of next-generation single-molecule biosensors are also discussed, such as the device reproducibility, system integration, and theoretical simulation.


Unique Role of Self-Assembled Monolayers in Carbon Nanomaterial-Based Field-Effect Transistors

SAMs, formed by either covalent or noncovalent methods, can function as active layers for building high-performance, stimuli-responsive monolayer transistors using SWNTs or graphene as electrodes. The unique role of SAMs as either active or auxiliary layers in carbon nanomaterial-based field-effect transistors is highlighted for tuning the substrate effect, controlling the carrier type and density in the conducting channel, and even installing new functionalities.


Molecule–Electrode Interfaces in Molecular Electronic Devices

This review highlights the importance of the nature of the molecule–electrode interface to the conducting properties of molecules. We summarize the strategies developed for controlling the interfacial properties and how the coupling strength between the molecules and the electrodes modulates the device properties. These analyses should be valuable for deeply understanding the relationship between the contact interface and the charge transport mechanism.


Solution-Crystallized Organic Semiconductors with High Carrier Mobility and Air Stability

To remove defects and restore the device performance, we intend to modify oligothiophene backbones with strategically-placed long alkyl side-chains. Molecular engineering and chemical self-assembly are combined with materials fabrication to achieve air-stable solution-processable oligothiophene-based field-effect transistors. The mobility ranks as the highest among oliogthiophene-based semiconducting materials.


Direct Conductance Measurement of Individual Metallo-DNA Duplexes within Single-Molecule Break Junctions

Transforming DNA into a conductive material would make a significant contribution to the development of the vibrant field of DNA-based molecular electronics. We demonstrate the first direct charge transport measurement of individual metallo-DNA duplexes using single molecule break junctions. These findings provide a foundation for DNA-based hybrid materials as conductive biocompatible bridges that may interface electronic circuits with biological systems.

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Research Fields

One remarkable aspect in Chemistry is its powerful ability to create new materials; one remarkable aspect in Physics is its powerful ability to investigate the intrinsic properties of these materials, the combination of both enables us to reveal the details of nature and change nature. The research in our molecular materials and devices lab is focused on exploring the optoelectronic properties of novel functional molecular materials and/or low dimensional nanomaterials at the nanometer or molecular level, such as electron transport properties, optoelectronic properties and stimuli-responsive abilities. These materials include single organic molecules/molecular clusters, carbon nanotubes, organic/inorganic nanowires, graphene, biomacromolecules, nanoparticles, and so on. These are challenging and predictable but active and interdisciplinary frontier research areas with many opportunities and great potential applications. Graduate and postdoctoral students working on these projects will have been extensively well-trained in all aspects, including organic syntheses, assembly techniques, micro/nanofabrications, and detection systems. Specifically, our research focuses are listed below:

1. Nano/molecular electronics;

2. Single-molecule dynamics and detection;

3. Organic/flexible electronics;

4. Chemo/biosensors

News & Events

The article "Nanocrystalline Perovskite Hybrid Photodetectors with High Performance in Almost Every Figure of Merit"" by Yuanwei Lin, Guoming Lin et. al. was accepted by Advanced Functional Materials.

The article " Catalyst: The renaissance of molecular electronics" by Na Xin and Xuefeng Guo published in Chem Is now available.

The article "Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Genotyping in Single-Molecule Electronic Circuits" by Gen He, Jie Li et. al. was accepted by Advanced Science.

The presentation of "Thermally Activated Tunneling Transition in a Photoswitchable Single-Molecule Electrical Junction" published in J. Phys. Chem. Lett. Is now available.

Welcome Prof. Byung Hee Hong from Seoul National University to visit our group.

Welcome Prof. Abraham Nitzan from Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania to visit our group.

Welcome Prof. Xiangfeng Duan from UCLA, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to visit our group.

Our work on the first worldwide stable and controllable single-molecule photoswitch was selected as one of the top ten scientific progress OF China by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China.