Probing surface properties of organic molecular layers by scanning tunneling microscopy

Hairong Wu*, Genglin Li, Jirui Hou, Kai Sotthewes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


In view of the relevance of organic thin layers in many fields, the fundamentals, growth mechanisms, and dynamics of thin organic layers, in particular thiol-based self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on Au(111) are systematically elaborated. From both theoretical and practical perspectives, dynamical and structural features of the SAMs are of great intrigue. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) is a remarkably powerful technique employed in the characterization of SAMs. Numerous research examples of investigation about the structural and dynamical properties of SAMs using STM, sometimes combined with other techniques, are listed in the review. Advanced options to enhance the time resolution of STM are discussed. Additionally, we elaborate on the extremely diverse dynamics of various SAMs, such as phase transitions and structural changes at the molecular level. In brief, the current review is expected to supply a better understanding and novel insights regarding the dynamical events happening in organic SAMs and how to characterize these processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102956
JournalAdvances in colloid and interface science
Early online date26 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Dynamics
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy
  • Self-assembled monolayers
  • Temporal resolution
  • Thiol-based SAMs
  • 2023 OA procedure


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