Image of the Month

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Image of the Month
Posted Date: May 1, 2015
iotm-may-2015

The whole family of the observed B4PB molecular STs. a,b, Models of the STs(a) and the corresponding STM images of B4PB-ST-n (n =0, 1, 2, 3or4)(b). The number in each image in b indicates the number (Tn) of the B4PB molecules that participate in the corresponding molecular ST. The STM image for n =4 (b) is a cropped section of an imperfect B4PB-ST-4 structure (the largest one achieved in experiments to date). To illustrate the ST-4 structure clearly, the missing bottom-right corner, separated by the dashed line, was artificially added to the structure and is composed of modeled molecules. The length given below each STM image in b indicates the horizontal size of the corresponding STM image. Imaging conditions: constant height, Vbias =20 mV, I =1 nA (n = 0, 1 and 2); constant current, Vbias =50 mV, I =10 pA (n = 3); constant current, Vbias = −100 mV, I =15 pA (n =4).

Credits: Images and data graciously provided by Professor Kai Wu. Jian Shang, Yongfeng Wang, Min Chen, Jingxin Dai1, Xiong Zhou, Julian Kuttner, Gerhard Hilt, Xiang Shao, J. Michael Gottfried and Kai Wu.

SKLSCUSS, BNLMS, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China. 2Key Laboratory for the Physics andChemistry of Nanodevices, Department of Electronics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China. 3Fachbereich Chemie, Philipps-Universität Marburg,Hans-Meerwein-Strasse, Marburg 35032, Germany. 4Department of Chemical Physics, School of Chemistry and Materials Science, University of Scienceand Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China. 5SPURc, 1 CREATE Way, #15-01, CREATE Tower, Singapore 138602, Singapore.

Microscope: Unisoku low-temperature STM (USM-1200S)

Control System: RHK Technology R9 Control System

Abstract:
Fractals, being “exactly the same at every scale or nearly the same at different scales” as defined by Benoit B. Mandelbrot, are complicated yet fascinating patterns that are important in aesthetics, mathematics, science and engineering. Extended molecular fractals formed by the self-assembly of small-molecule components have long been pursued but, to the best of our knowledge, not achieved. To tackle this challenge we designed and made two aromatic bromo compounds (4,4″-dibromo-1,1′:3′,1″-terphenyl and 4,4‴-dibromo-1,1′:3′,1″:4″,1‴-quaterphenyl) to serve as building blocks. The formation of synergistic halogen and hydrogen bonds between these molecules is the driving force to assemble successfully a whole series of defect-free molecular fractals, specifically Sierpiński triangles, on a Ag(111) surface below 80 K. Several critical points that govern the preparation of the molecular Sierpiński triangles were scrutinized experimentally and revealed explicitly. This new strategy may be applied to prepare and explore various planar molecular fractals at surfaces.

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Image of the Month
Posted Date: April 1, 2015
institution

3C-AFM current maps of Array 1 at various applied magnetic fields between ±434 Oe. Insets show position on a resistance versus field hysteresis loop measured for one particle. Saturated antiparallel (low current) and parallel (high current) states are marked with antiparallel or parallel arrows.

Arrays of nanoscale magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) are being pursued for bit patterned media (BPM) and magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM). Device performance depends on coercive field and critical bias switching distributions. Many well-established techniques allow for the characterization of ensemble average behavior, but conventional device-by-device characterization requires cumbersome processing steps. In addition to costly and complicated fabrication steps, the devices are often obscured for imaging.

Credits: Stephan K. Piotrowski, Samuel D. Oberdick, and Sara A. Majetich
Physics Department, Carnegie Mellon University

Microscope: RHK Technology AFM/STM UHV 350

Control System: RHK Technology R9 Control System

Abstract:
Arrays of nanoscale magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) are being pursued for bit patterned media (BPM) and magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM). Device performance depends on coercive field and critical bias switching distributions. Many well-established techniques allow for the characterization of ensemble average behavior, but conventional device-by-device characterization requires cumbersome processing steps. In addition to costly and complicated fabrication steps, the devices are often obscured for imaging.

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Image of the Month
Posted Date: March 1, 2015
iotm-march-2015

This image, recorded with molecular resolution at 150 °C, provides direct evidence for the stability of the metal-organic chains at high temperature on the Au(100) surface. Elevated-temperature STM image collected with the sample held at 425 K showing platinum(II) dipyridyltetrazine 1D chains on the reconstructed Au(100) surface.

The formation and stabilization of well-defined transition-metal single sites at surfaces may open new routes to achieve higher selectivity in heterogeneous catalysts. Organic ligand coordination to produce a well-defined oxidation state in weakly reducing metal sites at surfaces, desirable for selective catalysis, has not been achieved. Here, we address this using metallic platinum interacting with a dipyridyl tetrazine ligand on a single crystal gold surface. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements demonstrate the metal−ligand redox activity and are paired with molecular-resolution scanning probe microscopy to elucidate the structure of the metal−organic network. Comparison to the redox-inactive diphenyl tetrazine ligand as a control experiment illustrates that the redox activity and molecular-level ordering at the surface rely on two key elements of the metal complexes: (i) bidentate binding sites providing a suitable square-planar coordination geometry when paired around each Pt, and (ii) redox-active functional groups to enable charge transfer to a well-defined Pt(II) oxidation state. Ligand-mediated control over the oxidation state and structure of single-site metal centers that are in contact with a metal surface may enable advances in higher selectivity for next generation heterogeneous catalysts.

Credits: Daniel Skomski, Christopher D. Tempas, Kevin A. Smith, and Steven L. Tait*
Department of Chemistry, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, United States

Microscope: RHK Technology AFM/STM UHV 7500

Control System: RHK Technology SPM 1000 Control System

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Image of the Month
Posted Date: February 1, 2015
institution

Mid infrared plasmon mode observed in doped semiconductor SrTiO3 fabricated by Argon ion etching. Color represents near field optical signal, which is overlaid on top of the topography profile in a 24µm square area.

The image is obtained by a RHK broadband variable temperature scanning near field optical microscope.

Credits: Professor Cheng Cen, Department of Physics and Astronomy, West Virgina University, Morgantown, WV

Microscope: RHK broadband variable temperature scanning near field optical microscope.

Control System: RHK R9-STM and PMC100

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