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Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Sep 6;111(10):106103. Epub 2013 Sep 5.

Adsorption geometry determination of single molecules by atomic force microscopy.

Author information

1
IBM Research-Zurich, Säumerstrasse 4, 8803 Rüschlikon, Switzerland.
2
Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Faradayweg 4-6, 14195 Berlin, Germany.
3
University of Warwick, Gibbet Hill, CV34 Warwick, United Kingdom.

Abstract

We measured the adsorption geometry of single molecules with intramolecular resolution using noncontact atomic force microscopy with functionalized tips. The lateral adsorption position was determined with atomic resolution, adsorption height differences with a precision of 3 pm, and tilts of the molecular plane within 0.2°. The method was applied to five π-conjugated molecules, including three molecules from the olympicene family, adsorbed on Cu(111). For the olympicenes, we found that the substitution of a single atom leads to strong variations of the adsorption height, as predicted by state-of-the-art density-functional theory, including van der Waals interactions with collective substrate response effects.

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