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Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM)


  1. Meike Stöhr

Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470661345.smc046

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

How to Cite

Stöhr, M. 2012. Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM). Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials. .

Author Information

  1. University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2012


The scanning tunneling microscope (STM) offers the unique possibility to gain information on structural and electronic properties of a conducting surface down to the atomic scale. It was only a question of time until this potential was discovered for the investigation of molecules adsorbed on a substrate surface. Moreover, it was realized that invaluable information on surface-supported supramolecular architectures can be obtained which complements the knowledge on supramolecular systems in solution as well as in the solid state in a beneficial way. In addition, supramolecular engineering on solid substrates is expected to contribute to the development of functional nanomaterials, which boosted the research activities in this field substantially. In the beginning, the main focus of STM investigations was on the mere visualization of the adsorbed molecules, whereas now it addresses a variety of questions that comprises research on intermolecular and molecule–substrate interactions including electronic properties, the determination of the adsorption site, surface dynamics, and reactions. Especially, spectroscopy and manipulation techniques were important advancements for the development of the field.


  • self-assembly;
  • self-organization;
  • surface chemistry;
  • supramolecular engineering;
  • H-bonding;
  • metal coordination;
  • electrostatic interactions;
  • scanning tunneling microscopy