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Keywords:

  • azobenzene;
  • molecular switches;
  • scanning probe microscopy;
  • semiconductors;
  • surface chemistry

Abstract

A single 4-pyridylazobenzene molecule is observed at room temperature on a Si(111)-B surface by using scanning tunnel microscopy. The reversible conformational switching of this molecule is induced by tunneling electrons and observed at room temperature. This process is based on an intramolecular rotation of a single phenyl group without isomerization of the N[DOUBLE BOND]N double bond.