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1.
J Am Chem Soc ; 2020 Nov 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33167615

RESUMO

Biomolecules function by adopting multiple conformations. Such dynamics are governed by the conformation landscape whose study requires characterization of the ground and excited conformation states. Here, the conformational landscape of a molecule is sampled by exciting an initial gas-phase molecular conformer into diverse conformation states, using soft molecule-surface collision (0.5-5.0 eV). The resulting ground and excited molecular conformations, adsorbed on the surface, are imaged at the single-molecule level. This technique permits the exploration of oligosaccharide conformations, until now, limited by the high flexibility of oligosaccharides and ensemble-averaged analytical methods. As a model for cellulose, cellohexaose chains are observed in two conformational extremes, the typical "extended" chain and the atypical "coiled" chain-the latter identified as the gas-phase conformer preserved on the surface. Observing conformations between these two extremes reveals the physical properties of cellohexaose, behaving as a rigid ribbon that becomes flexible when twisted. The conformation space of any molecule that can be electrosprayed can now be explored.

2.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32729209

RESUMO

Establishing the atomic-scale structure of metal-oxide surfaces during electrochemical reactions is a key step to modeling this important class of electrocatalysts. Here, we demonstrate that the characteristic (√2×√2)R45° surface reconstruction formed on (001)-oriented magnetite single crystals is maintained after immersion in 0.1 M NaOH at 0.20 V vs. Ag/AgCl and we investigate its dependence on the electrode potential. We follow the evolution of the surface using in situ and operando surface X-ray diffraction from the onset of hydrogen evolution, to potentials deep in the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) regime. The reconstruction remains stable for hours between -0.20 and 0.60 V and, surprisingly, is still present at anodic current densities of up to 10 mA cm-2 and strongly affects the OER kinetics. We attribute this to a stabilization of the Fe3 O4 bulk by the reconstructed surface. At more negative potentials, a gradual and largely irreversible lifting of the reconstruction is observed due to the onset of oxide reduction.

3.
ACS Nano ; 2020 Jun 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32479059

RESUMO

Light absorption and emission have their origins in fast atomic-scale phenomena. To characterize these basic steps (e.g., in photosynthesis, luminescence, and quantum optics), it is necessary to access picosecond temporal and picometer spatial scales simultaneously. In this Perspective, we describe how state-of-the-art picosecond photon correlation spectroscopy combined with luminescence induced at the atomic scale with a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) enables such studies. We outline recent STM-induced luminescence work on single-photon emitters and the dynamics of excitons, charges, molecules, and atoms as well as several prospective experiments concerning light-matter interactions at the nanoscale. We also describe future strategies for measuring and rationalizing ultrafast phenomena at the nanoscale.

4.
Phys Rev Lett ; 124(15): 156803, 2020 Apr 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32357030

RESUMO

Quantum fluctuations are imprinted with valuable information about transport processes. Experimental access to this information is possible, but challenging. We introduce the dynamical Coulomb blockade (DCB) as a local probe for fluctuations in a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) and show that it provides information about the conduction channels. In agreement with theoretical predictions, we find that the DCB disappears in a single-channel junction with increasing transmission following the Fano factor, analogous to what happens with shot noise. Furthermore we demonstrate local differences in the DCB expected from changes in the conduction channel configuration. Our experimental results are complemented by ab initio transport calculations that elucidate the microscopic nature of the conduction channels in our atomic-scale contacts. We conclude that probing the DCB by STM provides a technique complementary to shot noise measurements for locally resolving quantum transport characteristics.

5.
ACS Nano ; 2020 Apr 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32283013

RESUMO

Formation and characterization of low-dimensional nanostructures is crucial for controlling the properties of two-dimensional (2D) materials such as graphene. Here, we study the structure of low-dimensional adsorbates of cesium iodide (CsI) on free-standing graphene using aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy at atomic resolution. CsI is deposited onto graphene as charged clusters by electrospray ion-beam deposition. The interaction with the electron beam forms two-dimensional CsI crystals only on bilayer graphene, while CsI clusters consisting of 4, 6, 7, and 8 ions are exclusively observed on single-layer graphene. Chemical characterization by electron energy-loss spectroscopy imaging and precise structural measurements evidence the possible influence of charge transfer on the structure formation of the CsI clusters and layers, leading to different distances of the Cs and I to the graphene.

6.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 2020 Mar 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32140689

RESUMO

The electric field is an important parameter to vary in a single-molecule experiment, because it can directly affect the charge distribution around the molecule. Yet, performing such an experiment with a well-defined electric field for a model chemical reaction at an interface has proven to be extremely difficult. Here, by combining a graphene field-effect transistor and a gate-tunable scanning tunneling microscope (STM), we reveal how this strategy enables the intramolecular H atom transfer of a metal-free macrocycle to be controlled with an external field. Experiments and theory both elucidate how the energetic barrier to tautomerization decreases with increasing electric field. The consistency between the two results demonstrates the potential in using electric fields to engineer molecular switching mechanisms that are ubiquitous in nanoscale electronic devices.

7.
ACS Nano ; 2020 Mar 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32159937

RESUMO

A hallmark of quantum control is the ability to manipulate quantum emission at the nanoscale. Through scanning tunneling microscopy-induced luminescence (STML), we are able to generate plasmonic light originating from inelastic tunneling processes that occur in the vacuum between a tip and a few-nanometer-thick molecular film of C60 deposited on Ag(111). Single photon emission, not of molecular excitonic origin, occurs with a 1/e recovery time of a tenth of a nanosecond or less, as shown through Hanbury Brown and Twiss photon intensity interferometry. Tight-binding calculations of the electronic structure for the combined tip and Ag-C60 system results in good agreement with experiment. The tunneling happens through electric-field-induced split-off states below the C60 LUMO band, which leads to a Coulomb blockade effect and single photon emission. The use of split-off states is shown to be a general technique that has special relevance for narrowband materials with a large bandgap.

8.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32023355

RESUMO

The electrochemical splitting of water holds promise for the storage of energy produced intermittently by renewable energy sources. The evolution of hydrogen currently relies on the use of platinum as a catalyst-which is scarce and expensive-and ongoing research is focused towards finding cheaper alternatives. In this context, 2D polymers grown as single layers on surfaces have emerged as porous materials with tunable chemical and electronic structures that can be used for improving the catalytic activity of metal surfaces. Here, we use designed organic molecules to fabricate covalent 2D architectures by an Ullmann-type coupling reaction on Au(111). The polymer-patterned gold electrode exhibits a hydrogen evolution reaction activity up to three times higher than that of bare gold. Through rational design of the polymer on the molecular level we engineered hydrogen evolution activity by an approach that can be easily extended to other electrocatalytic reactions.

9.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31965698

RESUMO

Among the prerequisites for the progress of single-molecule-based electronic devices are a better understanding of the electronic properties at the individual molecular level and the development of methods to tune the charge transport through molecular junctions. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) is an ideal tool not only for the characterization, but also for the manipulation of single atoms and molecules on surfaces. The conductance through a single molecule can be measured by contacting the molecule with atomic precision and forming a molecular bridge between the metallic STM tip electrode and the metallic surface electrode. The parameters affecting the conductance are mainly related to their electronic structure and to the coupling to the metallic electrodes. Here, the experimental and theoretical analyses are focused on single tetracenothiophene molecules and demonstrate that an in situ-induced direct desulfurization reaction of the thiophene moiety strongly improves the molecular anchoring by forming covalent bonds between molecular carbon and copper surface atoms. This bond formation leads to an increase of the conductance by about 50 % compared to the initial state.

11.
ACS Omega ; 4(6): 9850-9859, 2019 Jun 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31460076

RESUMO

Photosynthesis is the model system for energy conversion. It uses CO2 as a starting reactant to convert solar energy into chemical energy, i.e., organic molecules or biomass. The first and rate-determining step of this cycle is the immobilization and activation of CO2, catalyzed by RuBisCO enzyme, the most abundant protein on earth. Here, we propose a strategy to develop novel biomimetic two-dimensional (2D) nanostructures for CO2 adsorption at room temperature by reductionist mimicking of the Mg-carboxylate RuBisCO active site. We present a method to synthesize a 2D surface-supported system based on Mg2+ centers stabilized by a carboxylate environment and track their structural dynamics and reactivity under either CO2 or O2 exposure at room temperature. The CO2 molecules adsorb temporarily on the Mg2+ centers, producing a charge imbalance that catalyzes a phase transition into a different configuration, whereas O2 adsorbs on the Mg2+ center, giving rise to a distortion in the metal-organic bonds that eventually leads to the collapse of the structure. The combination of bioinspired synthesis and surface reactivity studies demonstrated here for Mg-based 2D ionic networks holds promise for the development of new catalysts that can work at room temperature.

12.
Nano Lett ; 19(7): 4659-4665, 2019 Jul 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31241971

RESUMO

Proximity effects induced in the two-dimensional Dirac material graphene potentially open access to novel and intriguing physical phenomena. Thus far, the coupling between graphene and ferromagnetic insulators has been experimentally established. However, only very little is known about graphene's interaction with antiferromagnetic insulators. Here, we report a low-temperature study of the electronic properties of high quality van der Waals heterostructures composed of a single graphene layer proximitized with α-RuCl3. The latter is known to become antiferromagnetically ordered below 10 K. Shubnikov-de Haas oscillations in the longitudinal resistance together with Hall resistance measurements provide clear evidence for a band realignment that is accompanied by a transfer of electrons originally occupying the graphene's spin degenerate Dirac cones into α-RuCl3 band states with in-plane spin polarization. Left behind are holes in two separate Fermi pockets, only the dispersion of one of which is distorted near the Fermi energy due to spin selective hybridization with these spin polarized α-RuCl3 band states. This interpretation is supported by our density functional theory calculations. An unexpected damping of the quantum oscillations as well as a zero-field resistance upturn close to the Néel temperature of α-RuCl3 suggest the onset of additional spin scattering due to spin fluctuations in the α-RuCl3.

13.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 11(23): 20973-20978, 2019 Jun 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31145585

RESUMO

Tunneling field-effect transistors (TFETs) are of considerable interest owing to their capability of low-power operation. Here, we demonstrate a novel type of TFET which is composed of a thin black phosphorus-tin diselenide (BP-SnSe2) heterostructure. This combination of 2D semiconductor thin sheets enables device operation either as an Esaki diode featuring negative differential resistance (NDR) in the negative gate voltage regime or as a backward diode in the positive gate bias regime. Such tuning possibility is imparted by the fact that only the carrier concentration in the BP component can be effectively modulated by electrostatic gating, while the relatively high carrier concentration in the SnSe2 sheet renders it insensitive against gating. Scanning photocurrent microscopy maps indicate the presence of a staggered (type II) band alignment at the heterojunction. The temperature-dependent NDR behavior of the devices is explainable by an additional series resistance contribution from the individual BP and SnSe2 sheets connected in series. Moreover, the backward rectification behavior can be consistently described by the thermionic emission theory, pointing toward the gating-induced formation of a potential barrier at the heterojunction. It furthermore turned out that for effective Esaki diode operation, care has to be taken to avoid the formation of positive charges trapped in the alumina passivation layer.

14.
Chemphyschem ; 20(18): 2340-2347, 2019 09 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31112362

RESUMO

Many 2D covalent polymers synthesized as single layers on surfaces show inherent disorder, expressed for example in their ring-size distribution. Systems which are expected to form the thermodynamically favored hexagonal lattice usually deviate from crystallinity and include high numbers of pentagons, heptagons, and rings of other sizes. The amorphous structure of two different covalent polymers in real space using scanning tunneling microscopy is investigated. Molecular dynamics simulations are employed to extract additional information. We show that short-range correlations exist in the structure of one polymer, i. e. that polygons are not tessellating the surface randomly but that ring neighborhoods have preferential compositions. The correlation is dictated by the energy of formation of the ring neighborhoods.

15.
Sci Adv ; 5(5): eaav4986, 2019 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31093525

RESUMO

Generating time-correlated photon pairs at the nanoscale is a prerequisite to creating highly integrated optoelectronic circuits that perform quantum computing tasks based on heralded single photons. Here, we demonstrate fulfilling this requirement with a generic tip-surface metal junction. When the junction is luminescing under DC bias, inelastic tunneling events of single electrons produce a stream of visible photons of plasmonic origin whose superbunching index is 17 (improved to a record of 70 by the authors during publication) when measured with a 53-ps instrumental resolution limit. The effect is driven electrically, rather than optically. This discovery has immediate and profound implications for quantum optics and cryptography, notwithstanding its fundamental importance to basic science and its ushering in of heralded photon experiments on the nanometer scale.

16.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 58(25): 8336-8340, 2019 06 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31018027

RESUMO

Saccharides are ubiquitous biomolecules, but little is known about their interaction with, and assembly at, surfaces. By combining preparative mass spectrometry with scanning tunneling microscopy, we have been able to address the conformation and self-assembly of the disaccharide sucrose on a Cu(100) surface with subunit-level imaging. By employing a multistage modeling approach in combination with the experimental data, we can rationalize the conformation on the surface as well as the interactions between the sucrose molecules, thereby yielding models of the observed self-assembled patterns on the surface.

17.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 21(5): 2587-2594, 2019 Jan 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30657498

RESUMO

Transition metal atoms stabilised by organic ligands or as oxides exhibit promising catalytic activity for the electrocatalytic reduction and evolution of oxygen. Built-up from earth-abundant elements, they offer affordable alternatives to precious-metal based catalysts for application in fuel cells and electrolysers. For the understanding of a catalyst's activity, insight into its structure on the atomic scale is of highest importance, yet commonly challenging to experimentally access. Here, the structural integrity of a bimetallic iron tetrapyridylporphyrin with co-adsorbed cobalt electrocatalyst on Au(111) is investigated using scanning tunneling microscopy and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Topographic and spectroscopic characterization reveals structural changes of the molecular coordination network after oxygen reduction, and its decomposition and transformation into catalytically active Co/Fe (oxyhydr)oxide during oxygen evolution. The data establishes a structure-property relationship for the catalyst as a function of electrochemical potential and, in addition, highlights how the reaction direction of electrochemical interconversion between molecular oxygen and hydroxyl anions can have very different effects on the catalyst's structure.

18.
Nano Lett ; 19(1): 235-241, 2019 01 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30558427

RESUMO

Photon statistics is a powerful tool for characterizing the emission dynamics of nanoscopic systems and their photophysics. Recent advances that combine correlation spectroscopy with scanning tunneling microscopy induced luminescence (STML) have allowed the measurement of the emission dynamics from individual molecules and defects, demonstrating their nature as single-photon emitters. The application of correlation spectroscopy to the analysis of the dynamics of a well-characterized adsorbate system in an ultrahigh vacuum remained to be demonstrated. Here, we combine single-photon time correlations with STML to measure the dynamics of individual H2 molecules between a gold tip and an Au(111) surface. An adsorbed H2 molecule performs recurrent excursions below the tip apex. We use the fact that the presence of the H2 molecule in the junction modifies plasmon emission to study the adsorbate dynamics. Using the H2 molecule as a chopper for STM-induced optical emission intensity, we demonstrate bunching in the plasmonic photon train in a single measurement over 6 orders of magnitude in the time domain (from microseconds to seconds) that takes only a few seconds. Our findings illustrate the power of using photon statistics to measure the diffusion dynamics of adsorbates with STML.

19.
Nanoscale ; 10(45): 21116-21122, 2018 Dec 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30406233

RESUMO

Increasing the complexity of 2D metal-organic networks has led to the fabrication of structures with interesting magnetic and catalytic properties. However, increasing complexity by providing different coordination environments for different metal types imposes limitations on their synthesis if the controlled placement of one metal type into one coordination environment is desired. Whereas metal insertion into free-base porphyrins at the vacuum/solid interface has been thoroughly studied, providing detailed insight into the mechanisms at play, the chemical interaction of a metal atom with a metallated porphyrin is rarely investigated. Herein, the breadth of metalation reactions is augmented towards the metal exchange of a metalloporphyrin through the deliberate addition of atomic metal centers. The cation of Fe(ii)-tetraphenylporphyrins can be replaced by Co in a redox transmetalation-like reaction on a Au(111) surface. Likewise, Cu can be replaced by Co. The reverse reaction does not occur, i.e. Fe does not replace Co in the porphyrin. This non-reversible exchange is investigated in detail by X-ray absorption spectroscopy complemented by scanning tunneling microscopy. Density functional theory illuminates possible reaction pathways and leads to the conclusion that the transmetalation proceeds through the adsorption of initially metallic (neutral) Co onto the porphyrin and the expulsion of Fe towards the surface accompanied by Co insertion. Our findings have important implications for the fabrication of porphyrin layers on surfaces when subject to the additional deposition of metals. Mixed-metal porphyrin layers can be fabricated by design in a solvent-free process, but conversely care must be taken that the transmetalation does not proceed as an undesired side reaction.

20.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 57(37): 11893-11897, 2018 Sep 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29981264

RESUMO

The catalytic synergy between cobalt oxide and gold leads to strong promotion of the oxygen evolution reaction (OER)-one half-reaction of electrochemical water splitting. However, the mechanism behind the enhancement effect is still not understood, in part due to a missing structural model of the active interface. Using a novel interplay of cyclic voltammetry (CV) for electrochemistry integrated with scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) on an atomically defined cobalt oxide/Au(111) system, we reveal here that the supporting gold substrate uniquely favors a flexible cobalt-oxyhydroxide/Au interface in the electrochemically active potential window and thus suppresses the formation of less active bulk cobalt oxide morphologies. The findings substantiate why optimum catalytic synergy is obtained for oxide coverages on gold close to or below one monolayer, and provide the first morphological description of the active phase during electrocatalysis.

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