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Study and Manipulation of Single Functionalized Molecules by Low Temperature STM

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Two types of functionalized molecules, wheels and switches, are studied with a low temperature scanning tunneling microscope. Lateral manipulation of wheel-dimer molecules is performed on a Cu(110) surface. If suitable parameters are chosen, not only a hopping, but also a rolling motion of the molecular wheels can be induced if the surface corrugation in the direction of motion is sufficient. The experimental observations clearly reflect the different mechanisms of hopping and rolling. While mostly only one wheel rolls, in some cases the rolling of both wheels is observed. The isomerization of single azobenzene derivatives on Au(111) is induced by applying a bias voltage between tip and sample. The process turns out to be perfectly reversible as the molecules, adsorbed in highly ordered islands, precisely restore their initial appearance after two subsequent switching events from trans to cis and back to trans. A detailed investigation of the driving process, studying the dependence of the threshold voltage on the tip-sample distance, reveals different mechanisms.

Keywords: FUNCTIONALIZED MOLECULES; MOLECULAR ELECTRONICS; NANOSCALE SYSTEMS; SCANNING TUNNELLING MICROSCOPY; SINGLE MOLECULE MANIPULATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) typically covers atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM, or SNOM) and related technologies. Since its invention in early 1980s, SPM has now been regarded as one of the major driving forces for the rapid development of nanoscience and nanotechnology, and the tool of choice in many areas of research. Journal of Scanning Probe Microscopy (JSPM) provides a forum for rapid dissemination of important developments in SPM technology. JSPM offers scientists, engineers and developers timely, peer-reviewed research on SPM science and technology of the highest quality. JSPM publishes original rapid communications, full research papers and timely state-of-the-art reviews (with author's photo and biography) encompassing the fundamental and applied research on SPM in all fields of science, engineering, and medicine.
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