Quantum Interference and Contact Effects in the Thermoelectric Performance of Anthracene-Based Molecules

Joseph M. Hamill*, Ali Ismael*, Alaa Al-Jobory, Troy L. R. Bennett, Maryam Alshahrani, Xintai Wang, Maxwell Akers-Douglas, Luke A. Wilkinson, Benjamin J. Robinson, Nicholas J. Long, Colin Lambert*, Tim Albrecht*

*Corresponding author for this work

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We report on the single-molecule electronic and thermoelectric properties of strategically chosen anthracene-based molecules with anchor groups capable of binding to noble metal substrates, such as gold and platinum. Specifically, we study the effect of different anchor groups, as well as quantum interference, on the electric conductance and the thermopower of gold/single-molecule/gold junctions and generally find good agreement between theory and experiments. All molecular junctions display transport characteristics consistent with coherent transport and a Fermi alignment approximately in the middle of the highest occupied molecular orbital/lowest unoccupied molecular orbital gap. Single-molecule results are in agreement with previously reported thin-film data, further supporting the notion that molecular design considerations may be translated from the single- to many-molecule devices. For combinations of anchor groups where one binds significantly more strongly to the electrodes than the other, the stronger anchor group appears to dominate the thermoelectric behavior of the molecular junction. For other combinations, the choice of electrode material can determine the sign and magnitude of the thermopower. This finding has important implications for the design of thermoelectric generator devices, where both n- and p-type conductors are required for thermoelectric current generation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7484-7491
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number15
Early online date10 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2023


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