Prof. Michel Calame
Transport at Nanoscale Interfaces Laboratory,Empa & Dpt of Physics, University of Basel


Experimenting with molecular compounds in nanoelectronic systems


If molecules and organometallic architectures are to play a role in nanoscale electronics, a guided assembly and contacting at the single molecule or monomer level is crucial to achieve.

Atomic-scale Au contacts have been widely used to interface individual molecules and unravel their electrical transport mechanisms. The mobility of the surface Au atoms however affects the mechanical stability of the metal-molecule-metal junction. As a consequence, the reorganization of the junction due to e.g. molecule-assisted migration has to be accounted for [1].

We present here two pathways to produce mechanically stable molecular junctions: i) by taking advantage of the atoms mobility in Au contacts [2] and, ii) by taking advantage of graphene-based contact electrodes [3] to interface molecular compounds and produce statistically robust multi-molecules junctions [4].

1.D. Thompson, et al., J. Phys. Chem. C 119 (33), 19438 (2015).
2.A. Vladyka et al., Nat. Communications 10, 262 (2019).
3.M. El Abbassi et al., Nanoscale, 9(44), 17312 (2017).
4.M El Abbassi et al., submitted.


Michel Calame is head of the laboratory for Transport at Nanoscale Interfaces at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science & Technology (Empa) and Professor of Nanoscience at the Department of Physics, University of Basel. He received his PhD in condensed matter physics at the University of Neuch√Ętel (1998) and spent a postdoc in biophysics at the Rockefeller University (NY, USA) before joining the University of Basel in 2000. In Basel, he was leading a research group on Nanoscale Hybrid Electronic Systems since 2011 and was staff member of the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI), coordinating the SNI PhD program from 2013 until 2016. His research interests are on the fundamental electronic and opto-electronic transport properties of nanoscale devices and their application as bio-chemical sensors.