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A study of planar anchor groups for graphene-based single-molecule electronics

Bailey, Steven; Visontai, David; Lambert, Colin J.; Bryce, Martin R.; Frampton, Harry; Chappell, David

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Steven Bailey

David Visontai

Colin J. Lambert

Harry Frampton

David Chappell


To identify families of stable planar anchor groups for use in single molecule electronics, we report detailed results for the binding energies of two families of anthracene and pyrene derivatives adsorbed onto graphene. We find that all the selected derivatives functionalized with either electron donating or electron accepting substituents bind more strongly to graphene than the parent non-functionalized anthracene or pyrene. The binding energy is sensitive to the detailed atomic alignment of substituent groups over the graphene substrate leading to larger than expected binding energies for –OH and –CN derivatives. Furthermore, the ordering of the binding energies within the anthracene and pyrene series does not simply follow the electron affinities of the substituents. Energy barriers to rotation or displacement on the graphene surface are much lower than binding energies for adsorption and therefore at room temperature, although the molecules are bound to the graphene, they are almost free to move along the graphene surface. Binding energies can be increased by incorporating electrically inert side chains and are sensitive to the conformation of such chains.


Bailey, S., Visontai, D., Lambert, C. J., Bryce, M. R., Frampton, H., & Chappell, D. (2014). A study of planar anchor groups for graphene-based single-molecule electronics. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 140(5), Article 054708.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 7, 2014
Deposit Date Nov 24, 2014
Publicly Available Date Nov 26, 2014
Journal Journal of Chemical Physics
Print ISSN 0021-9606
Electronic ISSN 1089-7690
Publisher American Institute of Physics
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 140
Issue 5
Article Number 054708


Published Journal Article (710 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2014 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Bailey, Steven, Visontai, David, Lambert, Colin J., Bryce, Martin R., Frampton, Harry and Chappell, David (2014) 'A study of planar anchor groups for graphene-based single-molecule electronics.', Journal of chemical physics., 140 (5). 054708 and may be found at

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