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Substrate-Mediated Intermolecular Interactions:  A Quantitative Single Molecule Analysis

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posted on 18.05.2005, 00:00 by E. Charles H. Sykes, Brent A. Mantooth, Patrick Han, Zachary J. Donhauser, Paul S. Weiss
Long-range intermolecular interactions mediated by the surface are believed to be responsible for many effects in surface science, including molecular ordering, formation of nanostructures, and aligning reactive intermediates in catalysis. Here, we use scanning tunneling microscopy to probe the weak substrate-mediated interactions in benzene overlayers on Au{111} at 4 K. Using an automated procedure to monitor single molecule motion, we are able to quantify the substrate-mediated interaction strength. We explain quantitatively both the kinetics of the benzene motion and the thermodynamics that determine the packing structures benzene adopts in this system in light of these substrate-mediated interactions.

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