Toggling the Local Electric Field with an Embedded Adatom Switch

By means of scanning probe microscopy we demonstrate that Au+ on NaCl films adsorbs in an embedded, slightly off-centered Cl-Cl bridge position and can be switched between two equivalent mirror-symmetric configurations using the attractive force exerted by a scanning probe tip. Density functional theory calculations demonstrate that the displacement of the Au atom from the centered position of the bridge bond is accompanied by a large lifting of the closest Cl atom, leading to significant changes in the local electrostatic field. Our findings suggest that Au+ can be used to toggle the local electrostatic field.

By: W. Steurer, B. Schuler, N. Pavlicek, L. Gross, I. Scivetti, M. Persson, G. Meyer

Published in: RZ3901 in 2015


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