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Keywords:

  • STM;
  • chirality;
  • inelastic electron tunneling;
  • molecular surface dynamics;
  • single molecule manipulation

Abstract

Manipulation experiments have been performed with single molecules of the hydrocarbon propene on a copper(211) surface at 7 K. Depending on the location of the methyl group, propene forms two enantiomorphous pairs of different adsorbate states. Beyond repositioning of the molecules via vertical and lateral manipulations with the STM tip, conversions between the different adsorbate geometries were observed. The role of inelastically tunneled electrons and the electric field in the junction between tip and surface are discussed as origins of adsorbate mode conversion. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.