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Studying on-surface reactions using high resolution atomic force microscopy
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) images and structural models showing the Ullmann-type coupling of single bromotriphenylene molecules on a Cu(111) surface at 5K in ultrahigh vacuum.
Recently, the so-called “bond-imaging” method has been developed, which relies on functionalizing the AFM tip with a single CO molecule. This method can be used to identify the chemical structure of molecules on surfaces, measure inter- and intramolecular bond length, and to study on-surface reactions. The latter can, e.g., be accomplished by controlled heating of the substrate until a new intermediate step of the reaction is fulfilled and subsequent AFM imaging at 5K.
The presented high resolution measurements have been performed in the Institute of Applied Physics (IAP) by S. Zint and D. Ebeling (AG Schirmeisen). The group is working in close collaboration with researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry (AG Wegner) and the Institute of Physical Chemistry (AG Mollenhauer) to combine their expertise in molecular synthesis, high resolution characterization and computational modelling. Therewith deeper fundamental insight into on-surface reaction pathways is gained, which will facilitate designing new functional devices.