Precise orientation of a single C60 molecule on the tip of a scanning probe microscope

Chiutu, C. and Sweetman, A. M. and Lakin, A. J. and Stannard, A. and Jarvis, S. and Kantorovich, L. and Dunn, J. L. and Moriarty, P. (2012) Precise orientation of a single C60 molecule on the tip of a scanning probe microscope. Physical review letters, 108 (26). ISSN 0031-9007

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We show that the precise orientation of a C-60 molecule which terminates the tip of a scanning probe microscope can be determined with atomic precision from submolecular contrast images of the fullerene cage. A comparison of experimental scanning tunneling microscopy data with images simulated using computationally inexpensive Huckel theory provides a robust method of identifying molecular rotation and tilt at the end of the probe microscope tip. Noncontact atomic force microscopy resolves the atoms of the C-60 cage closest to the surface for a range of molecular orientations at tip-sample separations where the molecule-substrate interaction potential is weakly attractive. Measurements of the C-60-C-60 pair potential acquired using a fullerene-terminated tip are in excellent agreement with theoretical predictions based on a pairwise summation of the van der Waals interactions between C atoms in each cage, i.e., the Girifalco potential [L. Girifalco, J. Phys. Chem. 95, 5370 (1991)].

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Journal Article
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Physical review letters
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06 Dec 2016 09:10
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19 Sep 2023 01:41