Vol 21, No 2 (2017) > Mini Conference >

Spectroscopic Contrast of Diarylethene Molecules on Octanethiol Monolayer

Arramel Arramel 1 , Tibor Kudernac 2 , Nathalie Katsonis 2 , Bernard Lucas Feringa 3 , Bart Jan van Wees 1


  1. Physics of Nanodevices, Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, Groningen, NL-9747 AG, The Netherlands
  2. MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, Enschede, NL-7522 NB, The Netherlands
  3. Stratingh Institute for Chemistry, University of Groningen, Groningen, NL-9747 AG, The Netherlands


Abstract: We present a systematic scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) study of bias-dependent imaging of disulfur diarylethene (2S-DE) molecules on octanethiol (C8) monolayer at room temperature. In a rigid confinement of the C8 matrix, we did not observe any significant variation in the appearance of the 2S-DE. On the contrary, a reversal in the apparent height of the 2S-DE was present when the molecule was situated on a gold vacancy island. We attributed this finding to the presence of a new electronic state that became accessible for a tunneling event. In addition, the C8 surface structure underwent a reversible phase transformation from √3 x √3 R30º hexagonal to c(4x2) square superlattice when the bias voltage was reduced from -825 mV to -425 mV or vice versa. Under a finite bias voltage, an appreciable topographic variation of the 2S-DE signature was demonstrated for the first time. This finding can be ascribed to a finite overlap of the associated wave functions that occurred between the tip state and the 2S-DE molecular energy level. We
believe that physical insight on the bias-dependent imaging of organic molecules on solid surface is important towards the advancement of molecular electronics-based devices.
Keywords: Bias-dependent, tunneling, octanethiols, STM, diarylethenes
Published at: Vol 21, No 2 (2017) pages: 75-82

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