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1.
ACS Nano ; 2020 Feb 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32073820

RESUMO

Molecular rotors have attracted considerable interest for their prospects in nanotechnology. However, their adsorption on supporting substrates, where they may be addressed individually, usually modifies their properties. Here, we investigate the switching of two closely related three-state rotors mounted on platforms on Au(111) using low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory calculations. Being physisorbed, the platforms retain important gas-phase properties of the rotor. This simplifies a detailed analysis and permits, for instance, the identification of the vibrational modes involved in the rotation process. The symmetry provided by the platform enables active control of the rotation direction through electrostatic interactions with the tip and charged neighboring adsorbates. The present investigation of two model systems may turn out useful for designing platforms that provide directional rotation and for transferring more sophisticated molecular machines from the gas phase to surfaces.

2.
ACS Nano ; 2020 Feb 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31999431

RESUMO

The electronic properties of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) can be precisely tuned by chemical doping. Here we demonstrate that amino (NH2) functional groups attached at the edges of chiral GNRs (chGNRs) can efficiently gate the chGNRs and lead to the valence band (VB) depopulation on a metallic surface. The NH2-doped chGNRs are grown by on-surface synthesis on Au(111) using functionalized bianthracene precursors. Scanning tunneling spectroscopy resolves that the NH2 groups significantly upshift the bands of chGNRs, causing the Fermi level crossing of the VB onset of chGNRs. Through density functional theory simulations we confirm that the hole-doping behavior is due to an upward shift of the bands induced by the edge NH2 groups.

3.
Nat Commun ; 10(1): 1573, 2019 04 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30952953

RESUMO

Miniaturization of electronic circuits into the single-atom level requires novel approaches to characterize transport properties. Due to its unrivaled precision, scanning probe microscopy is regarded as the method of choice for local characterization of atoms and single molecules supported on surfaces. Here we investigate electronic transport along the anisotropic germanium (001) surface with the use of two-probe scanning tunneling spectroscopy and first-principles transport calculations. We introduce a method for the determination of the transconductance in our two-probe experimental setup and demonstrate how it captures energy-resolved information about electronic transport through the unoccupied surface states. The sequential opening of two transport channels within the quasi-one-dimensional Ge dimer rows in the surface gives rise to two distinct resonances in the transconductance spectroscopic signal, consistent with phase-coherence lengths of up to 50 nm and anisotropic electron propagation. Our work paves the way for the electronic transport characterization of quantum circuits engineered on surfaces.

4.
J Phys Condens Matter ; 31(18): 18LT01, 2019 May 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30721893

RESUMO

The conductances of molecules physisorbed to Au(1 1 1) via an extended [Formula: see text] system are probed with the tip of a low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope to maximize the control of the junction geometry. Inert hydrogen, methyl, and reactive propynyl subunits were attached to the platform and stand upright. Because of their different reactivities, either non-bonding (hydrogen and methyl) or bonding (propynyl) tip-molecule contacts are formed. The conductances exhibit little scatter between different experimental runs on different molecules, display distinct evolutions with the tip-subunit distance, and reach contact values of 0.003-0.05 G 0. For equal tip-platform distances the contact conductance of the inert methyl is close to that of the reactive propynyl. Under further compression, the inert species, hydrogen and methyl, are found to be better conductors. This shows that the current flow is not directly correlated with the chemical interaction. Atomistic calculations for the methyl case reproduce the conductance evolution and reveal the role of the junction geometry, forces and orbital symmetries at the tip-molecule interface. The current flow is controlled by orbital symmetries at the electrode interfaces rather than by the energy alignment of the molecular orbitals and electrode states. Functionalized molecular platforms thus open new ways to control and engineer electron conduction through metal-molecule interfaces at the atomic level.

5.
Nano Lett ; 19(1): 576-581, 2019 01 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30539639

RESUMO

Electrons in graphene can show diffraction and interference phenomena fully analogous to light thanks to their Dirac-like energy dispersion. However, it is not clear how this optical analogy persists in nanostructured graphene, for example, with pores. Nanoporous graphene (NPG) consisting of linked graphene nanoribbons has recently been fabricated using molecular precursors and bottom-up assembly (Moreno et al. Science 2018, 360, 199). We predict that electrons propagating in NPG exhibit the interference Talbot effect, analogous to photons in coupled waveguides. Our results are obtained by parameter-free atomistic calculations of real-sized NPG samples based on seamlessly integrated density functional theory and tight-binding regions. We link the origins of this interference phenomenon to the band structure of the NPG. Most importantly, we demonstrate how the Talbot effect may be detected experimentally using dual-probe scanning tunneling microscopy. Talbot interference of electron waves in NPG or other related materials may open up new opportunities for future quantum electronics, computing, or sensing.

6.
ACS Nano ; 12(10): 10537-10544, 2018 Oct 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30295463

RESUMO

Designing molecular organic semiconductors with distinct frontier orbitals is key for the development of devices with desirable properties. Generating defined organic nanostructures with atomic precision can be accomplished by on-surface synthesis. We use this "dry" chemistry to introduce topological variations in a conjugated poly( para-phenylene) chain in the form of meta-junctions. As evidenced by STM and LEED, we produce a macroscopically ordered, monolayer thin zigzag chain film on a vicinal silver crystal. These cross-conjugated nanostructures are expected to display altered electronic properties, which are now unraveled by highly complementary experimental techniques (ARPES and STS) and theoretical calculations (DFT and EPWE). We find that meta-junctions dominate the weakly dispersive band structure, while the band gap is tunable by altering the linear segment's length. These periodic topology effects induce significant loss of the electronic coupling between neighboring linear segments leading to partial electron confinement in the form of weakly coupled quantum dots. Such periodic quantum interference effects determine the overall semiconducting character and functionality of the chains.

7.
Science ; 360(6385): 199-203, 2018 04 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29650671

RESUMO

Nanosize pores can turn semimetallic graphene into a semiconductor and, from being impermeable, into the most efficient molecular-sieve membrane. However, scaling the pores down to the nanometer, while fulfilling the tight structural constraints imposed by applications, represents an enormous challenge for present top-down strategies. Here we report a bottom-up method to synthesize nanoporous graphene comprising an ordered array of pores separated by ribbons, which can be tuned down to the 1-nanometer range. The size, density, morphology, and chemical composition of the pores are defined with atomic precision by the design of the molecular precursors. Our electronic characterization further reveals a highly anisotropic electronic structure, where orthogonal one-dimensional electronic bands with an energy gap of ∼1 electron volt coexist with confined pore states, making the nanoporous graphene a highly versatile semiconductor for simultaneous sieving and electrical sensing of molecular species.

8.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 9(10): 2510-2517, 2018 May 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29688007

RESUMO

The challenge of synthesizing graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) with atomic precision is currently being pursued along a one-way road, based on the synthesis of adequate molecular precursors that react in predefined ways through self-assembly processes. The synthetic options for GNR generation would multiply by adding a new direction to this readily successful approach, especially if both of them can be combined. We show here how GNR synthesis can be guided by an adequately nanotemplated substrate instead of by the traditionally designed reactants. The structural atomic precision, unachievable to date through top-down methods, is preserved by the self-assembly process. This new strategy's proof-of-concept compares experiments using 4,4''-dibromo-para-terphenyl as a molecular precursor on flat Au(111) and stepped Au(322) substrates. As opposed to the former, the periodic steps of the latter drive the selective synthesis of 6 atom-wide armchair GNRs, whose electronic properties have been further characterized in detail by scanning tunneling spectroscopy, angle resolved photoemission, and density functional theory calculations.

9.
Nano Lett ; 18(1): 418-423, 2018 01 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29232951

RESUMO

Large aromatic carbon nanostructures are cornerstone materials due to their increasingly active role in functional devices, but their synthesis in solution encounters size and shape limitations. New on-surface strategies facilitate the synthesis of large and insoluble planar systems with atomic-scale precision. While dehydrogenation is usually the chemical zipping reaction building up large aromatic carbon structures, mostly benzenoid structures are being produced. Here, we report on a new cyclodehydrogenation reaction transforming a sterically stressed precursor with conjoined cove regions into a planar carbon platform by incorporating azulene moieties in their interior. Submolecular resolution STM is used to characterize this exotic large polycyclic aromatic compound on Au(111) yielding unprecedented insight into a dehydrogenative intramolecular aryl-aryl coupling reaction. The resulting polycyclic aromatic carbon structure shows a [18]annulene core hosting peculiar pore states confined at the carbon cavity.

10.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 9(1): 25-30, 2018 Jan 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29220194

RESUMO

Recent advances in graphene-nanoribbon-based research have demonstrated the controlled synthesis of chiral graphene nanoribbons (chGNRs) with atomic precision using strategies of on-surface chemistry. However, their electronic characterization, including typical figures of merit like band gap or frontier band's effective mass, has not yet been reported. We provide a detailed characterization of (3,1)-chGNRs on Au(111). The structure and epitaxy, as well as the electronic band structure of the ribbons, are analyzed by means of scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy, angle-resolved photoemission, and density functional theory.

11.
Phys Rev Lett ; 119(16): 166001, 2017 Oct 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29099201

RESUMO

Here we show scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), noncontact atomic force microscopy (AFM), and inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy (IETS) measurements on an organic molecule with a CO-terminated tip at 5 K. The high-resolution contrast observed simultaneously in all channels unambiguously demonstrates the common imaging mechanism in STM/AFM/IETS, related to the lateral bending of the CO-functionalized tip. The IETS spectroscopy reveals that the submolecular contrast at 5 K consists of both renormalization of vibrational frequency and variation of the amplitude of the IETS signal. This finding is also corroborated by first principles simulations. We extend accordingly the probe-particle AFM/STM/IETS model to include these two main ingredients necessary to reproduce the high-resolution IETS contrast. We also employ the first principles simulations to get more insight into a different response of frustrated translation and rotational modes of the CO tip during imaging.

12.
ACS Nano ; 11(11): 11661-11668, 2017 11 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29049879

RESUMO

We report the energy level alignment evolution of valence and conduction bands of armchair-oriented graphene nanoribbons (aGNR) as their band gap shrinks with increasing width. We use 4,4″-dibromo-para-terphenyl as the molecular precursor on Au(111) to form extended poly-para-phenylene nanowires, which can subsequently be fused sideways to form atomically precise aGNRs of varying widths. We measure the frontier bands by means of scanning tunneling spectroscopy, corroborating that the nanoribbon's band gap is inversely proportional to their width. Interestingly, valence bands are found to show Fermi level pinning as the band gap decreases below a threshold value around 1.7 eV. Such behavior is of critical importance to understand the properties of potential contacts in GNR-based devices. Our measurements further reveal a particularly interesting system for studying Fermi level pinning by modifying an adsorbate's band gap while maintaining an almost unchanged interface chemistry defined by substrate and adsorbate.

13.
Phys Rev Lett ; 119(6): 066801, 2017 Aug 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28949604

RESUMO

A freestanding molecular wire is placed vertically on Au(111) using a platform molecule and contacted by a scanning tunneling microscope. Despite the simplicity of the single-molecule junction, its conductance G reproducibly varies in a complex manner with the electrode separation. Transport calculations show that G is controlled by a deformation of the molecule, a symmetry mismatch between the tip and molecule orbitals, and the breaking of a C≡C triple in favor of a Au─C─C bond. This tip-controlled reversible bond formation or rupture alters the electronic spectrum of the junction and the states accessible for transport, resulting in an order of magnitude variation of the conductance.

14.
Nano Lett ; 17(7): 4047-4054, 2017 07 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28605918

RESUMO

We show that the chemical inhomogeneity in ternary three-dimensional topological insulators preserves the topological spin texture of their surface states against a net surface magnetization. The spin texture is that of a Dirac cone with helical spin structure in the reciprocal space, which gives rise to spin-polarized and dissipation-less charge currents. Thanks to the nontrivial topology of the bulk electronic structure, this spin texture is robust against most types of surface defects. However, magnetic perturbations break the time-reversal symmetry, enabling magnetic scattering and loss of spin coherence of the charge carriers. This intrinsic incompatibility precludes the design of magnetoelectronic devices based on the coupling between magnetic materials and topological surface states. We demonstrate that the magnetization coming from individual Co atoms deposited on the surface can disrupt the spin coherence of the carriers in the archetypal topological insulator Bi2Te3, while in Bi2Se2Te the spin texture remains unperturbed. This is concluded from the observation of elastic backscattering events in quasiparticle interference patterns obtained by scanning tunneling spectroscopy. The mechanism responsible for the protection is investigated by energy resolved spectroscopy and ab initio calculations, and it is ascribed to the distorted adsorption geometry of localized magnetic moments due to Se-Te disorder, which suppresses the Co hybridization with the surface states.

16.
Nano Lett ; 17(1): 50-56, 2017 01 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28073274

RESUMO

Bottom-up chemical reactions of selected molecular precursors on a gold surface can produce high quality graphene nanoribbons (GNRs). Here, we report on the formation of quantum dots embedded in an armchair GNR by substitutional inclusion of pairs of boron atoms into the GNR backbone. The boron inclusion is achieved through the addition of a small amount of boron substituted precursors during the formation of pristine GNRs. In the pristine region between two boron pairs, the nanoribbons show a discretization of their valence band into confined modes compatible with a Fabry-Perot resonator. Transport simulations of the scattering properties of the boron pairs reveal that they selectively confine the first valence band of the pristine ribbon while allowing an efficient electron transmission of the second one. Such band-dependent electron scattering stems from the symmetry matching between the electronic wave functions of the states from the pristine nanoribbons and those localized at the boron pairs.

17.
ACS Nano ; 10(9): 9000-8, 2016 09 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27548516

RESUMO

Contributing to the need for new graphene nanoribbon (GNR) structures that can be synthesized with atomic precision, we have designed a reactant that renders chiral (3,1)-GNRs after a multistep reaction including Ullmann coupling and cyclodehydrogenation. The nanoribbon synthesis has been successfully proven on different coinage metals, and the formation process, together with the fingerprints associated with each reaction step, has been studied by combining scanning tunneling microscopy, core-level spectroscopy, and density functional calculations. In addition to the GNR's chiral edge structure, the substantial GNR lengths achieved and the low processing temperature required to complete the reaction grant this reactant extremely interesting properties for potential applications.

18.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 18(25): 16757-65, 2016 Jun 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27271337

RESUMO

Construction of single-molecule electronic devices requires the controlled manipulation of organic molecules and their properties. This could be achieved by tuning the interaction between the molecule and individual atoms by local "on-surface" chemistry, i.e., the controlled formation of chemical bonds between the species. We demonstrate here the reversible attachment of a planar conjugated polyaromatic molecule to a pair of unpassivated dangling bonds on a hydrogenated Ge(001):H surface via a Diels-Alder [4+2] addition using the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). Due to the small stability difference between the covalently bonded and a nearly undistorted structure attached to the dangling bond dimer by long-range dispersive forces, we show that at cryogenic temperatures the molecule can be switched between both configurations. The reversibility of this covalent bond forming reaction may be applied in the construction of complex circuits containing organic molecules with tunable properties.

19.
J Am Chem Soc ; 138(17): 5685-92, 2016 05 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27115554

RESUMO

Surface-confined dehalogenation reactions are versatile bottom-up approaches for the synthesis of carbon-based nanostructures with predefined chemical properties. However, for devices generally requiring low-conductivity substrates, potential applications are so far severely hampered by the necessity of a metallic surface to catalyze the reactions. In this work we report the synthesis of ordered arrays of poly(p-phenylene) chains on the surface of semiconducting TiO2(110) via a dehalogenative homocoupling of 4,4″-dibromoterphenyl precursors. The supramolecular phase is clearly distinguished from the polymeric one using low-energy electron diffraction and scanning tunneling microscopy as the substrate temperature used for deposition is varied. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy of C 1s and Br 3d core levels traces the temperature of the onset of dehalogenation to around 475 K. Moreover, angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy and tight-binding calculations identify a highly dispersive band characteristic of a substantial overlap between the precursor's π states along the polymer, considered as the fingerprint of a successful polymerization. Thus, these results establish the first spectroscopic evidence that atomically precise carbon-based nanostructures can readily be synthesized on top of a transition-metal oxide surface, opening the prospect for the bottom-up production of novel molecule-semiconductor devices.

20.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 18(5): 3854-61, 2016 Feb 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26766161

RESUMO

Controlling the strength of the coupling between organic molecules and single atoms provides a powerful tool for tuning electronic properties of single-molecule devices. Here, using scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM/STS) supported by theoretical modeling, we study the interaction of a planar organic molecule (trinaphthylene) with a hydrogen-passivated Ge(001):H substrate and a single dangling bond quantum dot on that surface. The electronic structure of the molecule adsorbed on the hydrogen-passivated surface is similar to the gas phase structure and the measurements show that HOMO and LUMO states contribute to the STM filled and empty state images, respectively. Furthermore, we show that the electronic properties are not significantly affected when the molecule is attached to the single dangling bond, which is in contrast with the strong interaction of the molecule with a dangling bond dimer. Our results show that the dangling bond quantum dots could stabilize organic molecules on a hydrogenated semiconductor without affecting their originally designed gas phase electronic properties. Together with the ability to laterally manipulate the molecules on the surface, this will be advantageous in the construction of single-molecule devices, where the coupling and positioning of the molecules on the substrate could be tuned by a proper design of the surface quantum dot arrays, comprising both single and dimerized dangling bonds.

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