Effects of current-induced forces on Pt-benzene-Pt single-molecule junctions

Bailey C. Hsu, Ilias Amanatidis, Wei Lin Liu, Allen Tseng, Yu-Chang Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


From first-principles approaches, we investigate the torque exerted by the current-induced forces in a highly asymmetric molecular junction, where the benzene molecule is directly connected to the platinum electrodes. We observe that the curved flow of the current streamline around the tilted molecule can induce a net torque, which tends to rotate the benzene molecule, much like the way a stream of water rotates a waterwheel. The magnitude and direction of the net torque are determined by the detailed current density flowing through the molecular junction. Such an asymmetric molecular junction could offer an experimentally practical system for the exploration of an electrically controllable single-molecule motor. The idea given above is also supported by a simple physical model based on the Landauer-Büttiker formula in the tight-binding framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2245-2252
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number5
StatePublished - 6 Feb 2014


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