Visualization and Nanomanipulation of Molecules in the Scanning Tunnelling Microscope
Due to the complexity of living matter on the nanometer scale, Sir Neville Mott’s above cited prediction will be a real challenge for crossdisciplinary teamwork in physics, chemistry and biology within the next decade. More specifically, the evolving discipline of nanotechnology, today still in its infancy, will become one of the key technologies of the 21st century. Nanotechnology deals with the direct visualization, the control and the manipulation of matter on the nanometer scale, i.e. down to the size of proteins, molecules and single atoms. What is so new about this concept? Today’s technology tries to reach smaller dimensions in manufacturing (e.g. in the area of microchips and biosensors) by starting with a huge piece of matter and physically dividing it to the desired size (“scaling down”). This approach has its physical limits, for example in the wavelength of light used for lithographic structuring of integrated circuits. A radically new approach is to start from the elementary building blocks of matter, like atoms and molecules, and to assemble them piece by piece into entities with desired functionality (“scaling up”). This method is not really so new at all, in fact there are many outstanding examples in nature. For example, molecular nanomachines in the form of ribosomes in the cell of living organisms assemble proteins from amino acids through the coded information stored in the RNA. The genetic code of the DNA-double helix is translated by means of a molecular reading machine into the proteins’ language.
KeywordsScan Tunneling Microscopy Mono Layer Thermal Desorption Spectroscopy Elementary Building Block Molecular Mechanic Simulation
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 3.J. Freund, M. Edelwirth, P. Knöbel, W.M. Heckl, Structure determination of two-dimensional adenine crystals on graphite, Phys.Rev. B 55, 5394 (1997).Google Scholar
- 4.M.J. Allen, M. Balooch, S. Subbiah, R.J. Tench, W.S. Stekhaus, R. Balhorn, Scanning tunneling microcope images of adenine and thymine at atomic resolution, Scanning microsc. 5, 625 (1991).Google Scholar
- 7.W.M. Heckl, J.F. Holzrichter, DNA base sequencing, Nonlinear Opt. 2, 231 (1992).Google Scholar
- 8.W.M. Heckl, Rastertunnelmikroskopie an zweidimensionalen Kristallen aus organischen Molekülen, Sektion Physik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München 1993.Google Scholar
- 12.S.J. Sowerby, W.M. Heckl, The role of self-assembled monolayers of the purine and pyrimidine bases in the origin of life, Orig.Life Evol.Biosphere (accepted).Google Scholar
- 13.S.J. Sowerby, G.B. Petersen, Scanning tunneling microscopy of uracil monolayers self-assembled at the solid/liquid interface, J.Electroanal.Chem. (in press).Google Scholar
- 15.M. Edelwirth, W.M. Heckl, Molecular mechanics simulation of adenine on graphite, Chem.Phys.Lett. (submitted).Google Scholar
- 16.S.J. Sowerby, M. Edelwirth, et al., Molecular mechanics simulation of uracil adlayers on molybdenum disulfide and graphite surfaces, Appl.Phys. A(submitted).Google Scholar
- 20.W.M. Heckl, J. Maddocks, Smallest hole in the world, Guinness Book of Records, Ullstein, Berlin 1994.Google Scholar
- 21.S.J. Sowerby, M. Reiter, et al, Single molecule diffusion observed with STM, Ann.Physik (to be published).Google Scholar
- 22.P. Cole, Nanomanipulation von reinen und adsorbatbedeckten MoS2-, Graphit-und Goldoberflächen mittels Rastertunnelmikroskopie, Institut für Kristallographie und Angewandte Mineralogie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München 1996.Google Scholar
- 23.P. Cole, M. Reiter, et. al., Molecular writing with STM, to be published.Google Scholar