Adsorption geometry determination of single molecules by atomic force microscopy

We measured the adsorption geometry of single molecules with intra-molecular resolution using noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) with functionalized tips. The lateral adsorption position was determined with atomic resolution, adsorption height di erences with a precision of 3 pm, and tilts of the molecular plane within 0.2 degree. The method was applied to five pi-conjugated molecules, including three molecules from the olympicene family, adsorbed on Cu(111). For the olympicenes, we found that the substitution of a single atom leads to strong variations of the adsorption height, as predicted by state-of-the-art density-functional theory including van der Waals interactions with collective substrate response effects (DFT+vdW^surf).

By: Bruno Schuler, Wei Liu, Alexandre Tkatchenko, Nikolaj Moll, Gerhard Meyer, Anish Mistry, David Fox, Leo Gross

Published in: RZ3869 in 2013


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