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Molecular Electronics


Admission Requirements none


The course introduces the conductance properties of molecular systems and state-of-the-art research on this topic. There is an emphasis on metal/single-molecule/metal junctions, but organic film devices are also treated. Since this interdisciplinary course has a clear chemical component, a few lectures are given by guest lecturers with a chemistry background.
Since this is a joint Delft-Leiden course, part of the lectures may be given in Delft.

Course Objectives

This course aims to merge knowledge of charge transport physics and organic chemistry to gain insight in the vivid field of molecular electronics. Key topics will hence be:

  • Molecular structure, sigma- and pi-bonds, tight binding method

  • Quantum charge transport in molecules, Landauer description

  • Electron-phonon coupling in molecular junctions

  • Theoretical methods (DFT, Hartree-Fock, Born-Oppenheimer approximation)

  • Molecular functionality

  • Experimental techniques for single-molecular conductance

  • Molecular switching

  • Molecular spin transport


Physics Schedule

Mode of instruction

Lectures and group discussions on relevant scientific articles. Every week, the students are required to solve a set of problems.

Assessment method

Written examination with open problems.


Blackboard is used to provide the students with notes/slides and scientific articles.
To have access to Blackboard you need a ULCN-account.Blackboard UL

Reading list

Molecular electronics: an introduction to theory and experiment, by Juan Carlos Cuevas and Elke Scheer.
Additional lectures notes/slides and scientific papers on Blackboard


Contactdetails Teacher(s) van der Molen(Sense Jan)
Contactdetails Teacher(s):Prof.dr. J.van Ruitenbeek(Jan)

Contactdetails Teacher(s) van der Zant(Herre)

Remarks Part of the course is given by guest lecturers.