Together with the more intuitive and commonly recognized conductance mechanisms of charge-hopping and tunneling, quantum-interference (QI) phenomena have been identified as important factors affecting charge transport through molecules. Consequently, establishing simple and flexible molecular-design strategies to understand, control, and exploit QI in molecular junctions poses an exciting challenge. Here we demonstrate that destructive quantum interference (DQI) in meta-substituted phenylene ethylene-type oligomers (m-OPE) can be tuned by changing the position and conformation of methoxy (OMe) substituents at the central phenylene ring. These substituents play the role of molecular-scale taps, which can be switched on or off to control the current flow through a molecule. Our experimental results conclusively verify recently postulated magic-ratio and orbital-product rules, and highlight a novel chemical design strategy for tuning and gating DQI features to create single-molecule devices with desirable electronic functions.
- density functional calculations
- destructive quantum interference
- scanning tunnelling microscope break junction
- single-molecule studies