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Seminar: Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Control of Electron Transport in Molecular Bridges: Insight and Design by ab-initio Modeling
Dr. Barry Dunietz
Assistant Professor of Chemistry, University of Michigan

Molecular bridges may constitute the fundamental building blocks in nanotechnology. My group studies properties of nano-scale molecular bridges and interfaces that can improve thermal and solar energy conversion schemes. We have developed and employed state of the art ab-initio methods for modeling electron transport and transfer. In this talk, I will describe our modeling of transport switching properties in molecular devices. Several related leading edge experiments achieving molecular scale conductance are considered. Our studies provide both insight into the mechanisms underlying the electronic-transport switching activity and predictions useful for designing novel schemes to enhance the switching functionality. I will also discuss briefly our treatment of the challenging time-dependent aspects of electron transport by our newly-developed computational approach. We highlight conditions at the electronic-structure level for a molecular bridge to function optimally as a photo-induced electron pump. This functionality is fundamental to the development of greatly improved solar cell technology.

Location: Physics Bldg., Room 401