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  • This project developed techniques and methods to measure single molecule conductance. Break gap junctions, used to measure electrical properties of single molecules, were explored. A Hewlett Packard mechanical nano-press was determined to be insufficient for creating a stable gap in which to conduct experiments. To avoid electromigration and bond annihilation across the break gap junction, a two-stage, high-speed, low-noise transimpedance amplifier was built. The two stage amplification was determined necessary to overcome a tradeoff between high-gain/low-speed and low-gain/high-speed features of operational amplifiers (opamp). The opamp used was a Texas Instruments OPA657 on a printed circuit board designed specifically for the opamp. For proper circuit analysis, a model circuit that demonstrated tunneling, but did not depend on the break gap system was analyzed. With further refinement of the techniques and methods developed in this paper future measurements of single molecules within break gap junctions will be achievable.
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