Tuning rotation axes of single molecular rotors by a combination of single-atom manipulation and single-molecule chemistry
Defining the axis of a molecular rotation is vital for the bottom-up design of molecular rotors. The rotation of tin-phthalocyanine molecules on the Ag(111) surface is studied by scanning tunneling microscopy and atomic/molecular manipulation at 4 K. Tin-phthalocyanine acts as a molecular rotor that binds to Ag adatoms and the substrate. Four different rotation axes are constructed at positions from the center to the periphery of the molecule. Furthermore, using the asymmetric appearance of the modified molecule, the rotation direction of the molecules is identified. This work provides a new approach for designing molecular rotors or motors with definable rotation radii and functions.