Generation, Manipulation and Characterization of Molecules by Atomic Force Microscopy

Atom manipulation can be used to dissociate, form, and rearrange bonds and to change the conformation or the charge state of molecules. Tip functionalization by atomic manipulation enabled atomic resolution on molecules with atomic force microscopy (AFM) revealing the molecular structure of initial reactants and final products after atomic manipulation with unprecedented resolution. Using atom manipulation in combination with AFM for molecular characterization we are approaching the type of molecule assembling that Richard P. Feynman did foresee in his famous talk "There is plenty of room at the bottom", where molecules and materials are formed by attaching and detaching individual atoms at will. Here, we review the recent progress and discuss prospects of molecule generation by atomic manipulation and molecular characterization with the AFM.

By: Niko Pavlicek, Leo Gross

Published in: Nature Reviews Chemistry, volume 1, (no 005), pages 10.1038/s41570-016-0005 in 2017


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