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Molecules Coining Patterns into a Metal:  The Hard Core of Soft Matter

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journal contribution
posted on 21.08.2007 by Gregor Witte, Katrin Hänel, Carsten Busse, Alexander Birkner, Christof Wöll
Using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), we demonstrate that deposition of a monolayer of perylene (C20H12), a planar aromatic molecule, on a Cu(110) substrate leads to the formation of a periodic pattern of nanostripes. High-resolution STM data indicate that the driving force for this unexpected surface restructuring caused by such nonreactive hydrocarbons is a lock-in mechanism due to a close registry of the molecular carbon frame with respect to the underlying copper lattice which leads to an enhanced adsorption energy.