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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Aug 20;93(8):086101. Epub 2004 Aug 16.

Growth of unidirectional molecular rows of cysteine on Au(110)-(1 x 2) driven by adsorbate-induced surface rearrangements.

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  • 1Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), CAMP and Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Aarhus, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.


Using scanning tunneling microscopy we have studied the nucleation and growth of unidirectional molecular rows upon adsorption of the amino acid cysteine onto the anisotropic Au(110)-(1 x 2) surface under ultrahigh vacuum conditions. By modeling a large variety of possible molecular adsorption geometries using density-functional theory calculations, we find that in the optimum, lowest energy configuration, no significant intermolecular interactions exist along the growth direction. Instead the driving force for formation of the unidirectional molecular rows is an adsorbate-induced surface rearrangement, providing favorable adsorption sites for the molecules.

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