A conductivity measurement system measures conductivity of molecules. A substance to be measured is applied to the first and second electrodes. A potential is applied across the electrodes. A computer-controlled motion controller moves a first electrode relative to a second electrode in discrete steps. In a first step, the electrodes are brought together in physical contact to form a plurality of molecular junctions. The electrodes are separated by a first distance which breaks a first molecular junction. The electrodes are separated by a second distance which breaks a second molecular junction. A conductivity measure is taken at each step. The process of separating the electrodes continues until conductivity measure is zero. The conductivity of one molecule corresponds to a last non-zero conductivity measurement prior to a zero conductivity measurement.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY-SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in the present invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on fair and reasonable terms as provided by the terms of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grant No. DE-FG03-01ER45943 awarded by the Department of Defense.