Electrical and mechanical properties of elongated gold-molecule-gold junctions formed by tolane-type molecules with different anchoring groups (pyridyl, thiol, amine, nitrile and dihydrobenzothiophene) were studied in current-sensing force spectroscopy experiments and density functional simulations. Correlations between forces, conductances and junction geometries demonstrate that aromatic tolanes bind between electrodes as single molecules or as weakly-conductive dimers held by mechanically-weak π - π stacking. In contrast with the other anchors that form only S-Au or N-Au bonds, the pyridyl ring also forms a highly-conductive cofacial link to the gold surface. Binding of multiple molecules creates junctions with higher conductances and mechanical strengths than the single-molecule ones.
ASJC Scopus subject areas