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Title: Non-nuclear Electron Transport Channels in Hollow Molecules

Electron transport in inorganic semiconductors and metals occurs through delocalized bands formed by overlapping electron orbitals. Strong correlation of electronic wave functions with the ionic cores couples the electron and lattice motions, leading to efficient interaction and scattering that degrades coherent charge transport. By contrast, unoccupied electronic states at energies near the vacuum level with diffuse molecular orbitals may form nearly-free-electron bands with density maxima in non-nuclear interstitial voids, which are subject to weaker electron-phonon interaction. The position of such bands typically above the frontier orbitals, however, renders them unstable with respect to electronic interband relaxation and therefore unsuitable for charge transport. Through electronic-structure calculations, we engineer stable, non-nuclear, nearly-free-electron conduction channels in low-dimensional molecular materials by tailoring their electrostatic and polarization potentials. We propose quantum structures of graphane-derived Janus molecular sheets with spatially isolated conducting and insulating regions that potentially exhibit emergent electronic properties, as a paradigm for molecular-scale non-nuclear charge conductors; we also describe tuning of their electronic properties by application of external fields and calculate their electron–acoustic-phonon interaction.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physical Review. B, Condensed Matter, 90:075412
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory