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Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2004 Jun 15;362(1819):1207-16.

The scanning tunnelling microscope as an operative tool: doing physics and chemistry with single atoms and molecules.

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  • 1Fachbereich Physik, Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, Arnimallee 14, 14195 Berlin, Germany.


The scanning tunnelling microscope, initially invented to image surfaces down to the atomic scale, has been further developed in the last few years to an operative tool, with which atoms and molecules can be manipulated at will at low substrate temperatures in different manners to create and investigate artificial structures, whose properties can be investigated employing spectroscopic dI/dV measurements. The tunnelling current can be used to selectively break chemical bonds, but also to induce chemical association. These possibilities give rise to startling new opportunities for physical and chemical experiments on the single atom and single molecule level. Here we provide a short overview on recent results obtained with these techniques.

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