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Phys Rev Lett. 2015 May 22;114(20):206101. Epub 2015 May 19.

Rotational Spectromicroscopy: Imaging the Orbital Interaction between Molecular Hydrogen and an Adsorbed Molecule.

Li S1, Yuan D1,2, Yu A1, Czap G1, Wu R1, Ho W1,3.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Irvine, California 92697-4575, USA.
College of Materials Science and Engineering, Hunan University, ChangSha 410082, China.
Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, California 92697-2025, USA.


A hydrogen molecule can diffuse freely on the surface and be trapped above an adsorbed molecule within the junction of a scanning tunneling microscope. The trapped dihydrogen exhibits the properties of a free rotor. Here we show that the intermolecular interaction between dihydrogen and Mg-porphyrin (MgP) can be visualized by imaging j=0 to 2 rotational excitation of dihydrogen. The interaction leads to a weakened H-H bond and modest electron donation from the dihydrogen to the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital of MgP, a process similarly observed for the interaction between dihydrogen and an adsorbed Au atom.

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