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Probing the Conformation of Physisorbed Molecules at the Atomic Scale Using STM Manipulation

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posted on 12.01.2005, 00:00 authored by Kai-Felix Braun, Saw-Wai Hla
We use scanning tunneling microscope (STM) manipulation and density functional theory calculation to investigate the structural properties of individual sexiphenyl molecules physisorbed on a Ag(111) surface at 6 K. The molecule−surface atomic registry is precisely determined by using atomic markers and a sexiphenyl functionalized tip. The calculations confirm the alternating twist of the sexiphenyl π-rings on Ag(111). The π-ring torsional angle, 11.4°, is directly determined from the geometry of STM manipulation. This innovative experiment opens up a novel application of STM manipulation to probe the properties of “physisorbed” species on surfaces at the atomic level.

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