Determination of photoswitching dynamics through chiral mapping of single molecules using a scanning tunneling microscope

Matthew J. Comstock, David A. Strubbe, Luis Berbil-Bautista, Niv Levy, Jongweon Cho, Daniel Poulsen, Jean M J Fréchet, Steven G. Louie, Michael F. Crommie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Single-molecule-resolved scanning tunneling microscopy of tetra-tert-butyl azobenzene (TTB-AB) molecules adsorbed onto Au(111) reveals chirality selection rules in their photoswitching behavior. This observation is enabled by the fact that trans-TTB-AB molecules self-assemble into homochiral domains. Cis-TTB-AB molecules produced via photoisomerization are found in two distinct conformations with final state chirality determined by the initial trans isomer chirality. Based on these observations and ab initio calculations, we propose a new inversion-based dynamical photoswitching mechanism for azobenzene molecules at a surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number178301
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume104
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 28 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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