Spectroscopic Contrast of Diarylethene Molecules on Octanethiol Monolayer

Arramel Arramel*, Tibor Kudernac, Nathalie Katsonis, Bernard Lucas Feringa, Bart Jan van Wees

*Corresponding author for this work

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We present a systematic scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) study of bias-dependent imaging of disulfur diarylethene (2S-DE) molecules on octanethiol (C8) monolayer at room temperature. In a rigid confinement of the C8 matrix, we did not observe any significant variation in the appearance of the 2S-DE. On the contrary, a reversal in the apparent height of the 2S-DE was present when the molecule was situated on a gold vacancy island. We attributed this finding to the presence of a new electronic state that became accessible for a tunneling event. In addition, the C8 surface structure underwent a reversible phase transformation from root 3 x root 3 R30 degrees hexagonal to c(4x2) square superlattice when the bias voltage was reduced from -825 mV to -425 mV or vice versa. Under a finite bias voltage, an appreciable topographic variation of the 2S-DE signature was demonstrated for the first time. This finding can be ascribed to a finite overlap of the associated wave functions that occurred between the tip state and the 2S-DE molecular energy level. We believe that physical insight on the bias-dependent imaging of organic molecules on solid surface is important towards the advancement of molecular electronics-based devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalMakara journal of technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2017


  • Bias-dependent
  • tunneling
  • octanethiols
  • STM
  • diarylethenes
  • AU(111)

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