Professor Gemma C. Solomon
Nano-Science Center and Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen
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Quantum interference is a fascinating effect that can manifest whenever the wave-like nature of matter dominates. In this talk, I provide a general introduction to quantum interference as it applies to coherent electron transport and more specifically how it manifests in molecules. Unlike the larger systems commonly studied in condensed matter physics, the small size of single molecules means that phase coherence can be easily maintained across the system and quantum interference effects observed at room temperature in solution. I will discuss the theoretical and experimental efforts to study interference effects in charge transport through molecules and finally outline our efforts to find quantum interference based single-molecule insulators. Remarkably, we can show in calculations that it is possible to make a molecular functional unit that is more insulating than a vacuum gap of the same dimensions.