Date of Award

December 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Wilfred T Tysoe

Committee Members

Jorg Woehl, Alan Schwabacher, Jian Chen, Arsenio Pacheco


Molecular Electronics, Self Assembly, Surface Science


The field of molecular electronics is generally divided into one of two major categories, the first focusing on the unique functionalization of single molecules to produce electronic behavior, the other utilizing large assemblies of molecules to produce electronic behavior. The former approach is largely attributed to the seminal paper by Aviram and Ratner in which they proposed a molecular donor-bridge-acceptor (D-B-A) type architecture could lead to single molecule rectification producing electronic effects similar to conventional semiconductor based diodes. Extensive research has been carried out in both fields as it is foreseen that new approaches to electronics miniaturization will be necessary in the near future.

In the following research, the focus turns to a seemingly overlooked area of molecular electronics, this being the necessity for designed interconnects of nanoscale electrodes. The approach to problem utilized the well studied oligomerization properties of 1,4-phenylene diisocyanide (PDI), which upon exposure to gold incorporates gold adatoms to form conductive one-dimensional oligomers of the form -(Au-PDI)n- Monte Carlo simulations along with conductivity studies of nanoparticle arrays both suggest the oligomerization is inherently self-limiting, providing a potential avenue toward controlled interconnection of nanoelectrodes and design of molecular electronic circuits.