ORC Seminar Series

"Contact Dynamics with Single Molecules"


Professor John Boland
School of Chemistry and Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN)
Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Date: Wednesday 28 November 2007
Time: 2pm
Venue: Building 2, Room 1039 (Lecture Theatre K)


Here in this presentation we describe recent STM results on contacts with single molecule and other nanoscale objects. We demonstrate that contact formation can result in dramatic electronic and structural rearrangements of the molecule, ones which can transform initially uninteresting and electrically insulation molecules into potential candidates for molecular devices. We also demonstrate how it is possible to tailor the composition of the STM probe and how this leads to specific interactions between the probe and the target molecule. Starting for the far-field, we monitor the approach of the metal probe to the target molecules and monitor the motion of the molecule, including vibrational quenching, rehydridisation and bond formation. We describe the strengths and limitation of this approach and its potential to provide insights into both contact bond formation and chemical reaction dynamics.


John Boland received a BSc degree in chemistry from University College Dublin and a PhD in chemical physics from the California Institute of Technology, where he was an IBM graduate fellow and recipient of the Newby-McKoy graduate research award. From 1984 to 1994 Prof. Boland was a member of the research staff at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center (New York). In 1994 he joined the chemistry faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was appointed the J. J. Hermans Chair Professor of Chemistry and Applied and Materials Science.

In 2002 he moved to the chemistry department at Trinity College Dublin as a Science Foundation Ireland Principal Investigator. Prof. Boland's research interests focus on understanding nanoscale processing and materials properties for advanced device applications, including the development of new protocols for assembling, fabricating, and testing nanometer-scale device structures.

Copyright University of Southampton 2006