Research Article

Nano Research

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 235-241

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Identification of molecular flipping of an asymmetric tris(phthalocyaninato) lutetium triple-decker complex by scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy

  • Xianghua KongAffiliated withInstitute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • , Shengbin LeiAffiliated withNational Center for Nanoscience and Technology
  • , Yanlian YangAffiliated withNational Center for Nanoscience and Technology
  • , Ke DengAffiliated withNational Center for Nanoscience and Technology
  • , Guicun QiAffiliated withNational Center for Nanoscience and Technology
  • , Chen WangAffiliated withNational Center for Nanoscience and Technology Email author 


The assembling behavior and electronic properties of asymmetric tris(phthalocyaninato) lutetium tripledecker sandwich complex molecules (Lu2Pc3) on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) surfaces have been studied by scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS) methods. Phase transitions were observed at different bias polarities, involving an ordered packing arrangement with fourfold symmetry at negative bias and an amorphous arrangement at positive bias. Molecular switching behaviour for individual Lu2Pc3 molecules was reported here according to the bias-polarity-induced flipping phenomena and the peak shift in dI/dV versus V curves at different voltage scanning directions. The sensitive response of the strong intrinsic molecular dipole to an external electric field is proposed to be responsible for molecular switching of Lu2Pc3 at the solid/liquid interface.


Triple-decker sandwich complex phase transition molecular switch scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy