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Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Imaging and Spectroscopy of a Single Viologen Molecule

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Abstract:

A low-temperature ultrahigh-vacuum scanning tunneling microscope (UHV-STM) was used to image viologen (N-methyl-N′-di (8-mercaptooctyl)-4,4′-bipyridinium; HSC8VC8SH) molecules and to perform local spectroscopic measurements on these molecules. Self-assembly of viologen molecules was conducted on Au (111), which had been thermally deposited onto freshly cleaved, heated mica. Here, we demonstrate a novel SAM matrix appropriate for the isolation of viologen molecules composed of octanethiol (C8) in which HSC8VC8SH was inserted at defects in the molecular lattice. The isolated single molecules of viologen inserted in the SAM matrix were observed as protrusions in STM topography using a constant current mode. STM images at 298 K showed protrusions with a topographic height of about 2.71 nm (HSC8VC8SH) with viologen molecules that self-assembled on the substrate. The current–voltage (IV) characteristics were measured while the electrical properties of the formed monolayer were scanned using scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS). We found the high peak current-like rectification at +1.14 V (HSC8VC8SH). The rectification ratios, RR = J (at +2.5 V)/J (at −2.5 V), are in the range of 4.47.

Keywords: CONFORMATIONAL CHANGE; RECTIFICATION; SCANNING TUNNELING MICROSCOPY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2008.IC37

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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