Towards Rectifying Performance at the Molecular Scale

  • Guang-Ping Zhang
  • Zhen Xie
  • Yang Song
  • Gui-Chao HuEmail author
  • Chuan-Kui WangEmail author
Part of the Topics in Current Chemistry Collections book series (TCCC)


Molecular diode, proposed by Mark Ratner and Arieh Aviram in 1974, is the first single-molecule device investigated in molecular electronics. As a fundamental device in an electric circuit, molecular diode has attracted an enduring and extensive focus during the past decades. In this review, the theoretical and experimental progresses of both charge-based and spin-based molecular diodes are summarized. For the charge-based molecular diodes, the rectifying properties originated from asymmetric molecules including D–σ–A, D–π–A, D–A, and σ–π type compounds, asymmetric electrodes, asymmetric nanoribbons, and their combination are analyzed. Correspondingly, the rectification mechanisms are discussed in detail. Furthermore, a series of strategies for modulating rectification performance is figured out. Discussion on concept of molecular spin diode is also involved based on a magnetic co-oligomer. At the same time, the intrinsic mechanism as well as the modulation of the spin-current rectification performance is introduced. Finally, several crucial issues that need to be addressed in the future are given.


Molecular electronics Molecular rectification Charge-current rectification Spin-current rectification 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shandong Province Key Laboratory of Medical Physics and Image Processing Technology, School of Physics and Electronics & Institute of Materials and Clean EnergyShandong Normal UniversityJinanChina
  2. 2.School of Physics and TechnologyUniversity of JinanJinanChina

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