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Atomic and molecular junctions as a testbed for quantum transport and nanomaterial properties

Individual molecules, atoms or atomic chains suspended between two sharp metallic electrodes are useful testbeds for quantum electronic transport, fundamental material properties and their interplay at the atomic scale. For example, it was found that temperature gradients across such atomic scale junctions generate electronic noise with useful implications for science and technology [1], a non-magnetic single-molecule junction can filter spin currents by quantum interference [2], and magnetic fields can tune the interatomic distance in platinum atomic chains [3]. These examples emphasize the versatility of atomic and molecular junctions as a nanoscale lab for the fundamental behavior of matter in this scale.

[1] O. Shein-Lumbroso, L. Simine, A. Nitzan, D. Segal and O. Tal, Electronic noise due to temperature difference in atomic-scale junctions, Nature, 562, 240 (2018).

[2] A. Nath-Pal, D. Li, S. Sarkar, S. Chakrabarti, A. Vilan, L. Kronik, A. Smogunov and O. Tal, Nonmagnetic single-molecule spin-filter based on quantum interference, Nature Commun. 10, 5565 (2019).

[3] S. Chakrabarti, A. Vilan, A. Oz, O. Hod, J. E. Peralta & O. Tal, Magnetic control over the fundamental structure of atomic wires (submitted).