STM manipulation of molecular moulds on metal surfaces
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- Yu, M., Xu, W., Benjalal, Y. et al. Nano Res. (2009) 2: 254. doi:10.1007/s12274-009-9024-9
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Molecular Landers are a class of compounds containing an aromatic board as well as bulky side groups which upon adsorption of the molecule on a surface may lift the molecular board away from the substrate. Different molecular Landers have extensively been studied as model systems for nanomachines and the formation of molecular wires, as well as for their function as “molecular moulds”, i.e., acting as templates by accommodating metal atoms underneath their aromatic board. Here, we investigate the adsorption of a novel Lander molecule 1,4-bis(4-(2,4-diaminotriazine)phenyl)-2,3,5,6-tetrakis(4-tert-butylphenyl)benzene (DAT, C64H68N10) on Cu(110) and Au(111) surfaces under ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) conditions. By means of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) imaging and manipulation, we characterize the morphology and binding geometries of DAT molecules at terraces and step edges. On the Cu(110) surface, various contact configurations of individual DAT Landers were formed at the step edges in a controlled manner, steered by STM manipulation, including lateral translation, rotation, and pushing molecules to an upper terrace. The diffusion barrier of single DAT molecules on Au(111) is considerably smaller than on Cu(110). The DAT Lander is specially designed with diamino-triazine side groups making it suitable for future studies of molecular self-assembly by hydrogen-bonding interactions. The results presented here are an important guide to the choice of substrate for future studies using this compound.