Dynamics of oligo(phenylene-ethynylene) self-assembled monolayers on Au(111)

Hairong Wu, Kai Sotthewes, Alejandro Méndez-Ardoy, Tibor Kudernac, Jurriaan Huskens, Aufrid Lenferink, Cees Otto, Peter M. Schön, G. Julius Vancso, Harold J.W. Zandvliet

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Oligo(phenylene-ethynylene), self-assembled monolayers on Au(1 1 1) have been studied with scanning tunneling microscopy. The oligo(phenylene-ethynylene) molecules are adsorbed in a flat-lying orientation. Time-resolved scanning tunneling microscopy measurements reveal that the molecules continuously switch back and forth between two nearly degenerate configurations. The energy difference between the two configurations is 22 ± 5 meV and the activation barrier for the transition from the low-energy configuration to the high-energy configuration is 0.65 ± 0.03 eV. A statistical analysis of the residence times revealed that the switching process is stochastic. We propose that the two level switching is due to a torsional mode of the central phenyl ring.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-48
Number of pages4
JournalChemical physics letters
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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