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Issue 32, 2011
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Single-molecule chemistry and physics explored by low-temperature scanning probe microscopy

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Abstract

It is well known that scanning probe techniques such as scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) routinely offer atomic scale information on the geometric and the electronic structure of solids. Recent developments in STM and especially in non-contact AFM have allowed imaging and spectroscopy of individual molecules on surfaces with unprecedented spatial resolution, which makes it possible to study chemistry and physics at the single molecule level. In this feature article, we first review the physical concepts underlying image contrast in STM and AFM. We then focus on the key experimental considerations and use selected examples to demonstrate the capabilities of modern day low-temperature scanning probe microscopy in providing chemical insight at the single molecule level.

Graphical abstract: Single-molecule chemistry and physics explored by low-temperature scanning probe microscopy

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Article information


Submitted
10 Mar 2011
Accepted
21 Apr 2011
First published
17 May 2011

Chem. Commun., 2011,47, 9011-9023
Article type
Feature Article

Single-molecule chemistry and physics explored by low-temperature scanning probe microscopy

I. Swart, L. Gross and P. Liljeroth, Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 9011
DOI: 10.1039/C1CC11404B

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