Voltage tuning of vibrational mode energies in single-molecule junctions
Neaton, Jeffrey B.
Vibrational modes of molecules are fundamental properties determined by intramolecular bonding, atomic masses, and molecular geometry, and often serve as important channels for dissipation in nanoscale processes. Although single-molecule junctions have been employed to manipulate electronic structure and related functional properties of molecules, electrical control of vibrational mode energies has remained elusive. Here we use simultaneous transport and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy measurements to demonstrate large, reversible, voltage-driven shifts of vibrational mode energies of C60 molecules in gold junctions. C60 mode energies are found to vary approximately quadratically with bias, but in a manner inconsistent with a simple vibrational Stark effect. Our theoretical model suggests instead that the mode shifts are a signature of bias-driven addition of electronic charge to the molecule. These results imply that voltage-controlled tuning of vibrational modes is a general phenomenon at metal-molecule interfaces and is a means of achieving significant shifts in vibrational energies relative to a pure Stark effect.
surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy; vibrational Stark effect; plasmonics