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Issue 30, 2013
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STM tip-assisted single molecule chemistry

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Scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) has been a unique and powerful tool in the study of molecular systems among various microscopic and spectroscopic techniques. This benefits from the local probing ability for the atomically resolved structural and electronic characterization by the STM tip. Moreover, by using the STM tip one can modify a given structure and thus control the physical and chemical properties of molecules at a single-molecule level. The rapid developments in the past 30 years have extended the functions of STM far beyond characterization. It has shown the flexibility to combine STM with other techniques by making use of the advantages of the STM tip, demonstrating important applications in the growing nanotechnology. Here we review some recent progresses in our laboratory on single molecule chemistry by taking advantage of tip-assisted local approaches, such as the identification of specific orbitals or states of molecules on surfaces, tip-induced single-molecule manipulation, atomically resolved chemical reactions in photochemistry and tip-induced electroluminescence. We expect more joint techniques to emerge in the near future by using the unique advantages of STM tip, providing more powerful tools for the growing requirements of new materials design and the mechanism of chemical reactions at the molecular scale.

Graphical abstract: STM tip-assisted single molecule chemistry

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Apr 2013, accepted on 17 May 2013 and first published on 20 May 2013

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP51446C
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013,15, 12428-12441

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    STM tip-assisted single molecule chemistry

    A. Zhao, S. Tan, B. Li, B. Wang, J. Yang and J. G. Hou, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013, 15, 12428
    DOI: 10.1039/C3CP51446C

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