Surface-induced symmetry reduction in molecular switching: Asymmetric cis-trans switching of CH3S-Au-SCH3 on Au(111)

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Abstract

The cis–trans isomerization of CH3S-Au-SCH3 driven by the tip of the scanning tunneling microscope is investigated at 77 K. CH3S-Au-SCH3 anchored on the Au(111) surface with the S–Au–S axis parallel to the substrate functions as a molecular switch due to the flipping of the CH3 groups. The bonding between CH3S-Au-SCH3 and Au(111) leads to asymmetric isomerization where one of the two methyl groups flips much more effectively than the other, despite the symmetry of CH3S-Au-SCH3. Our findings suggest the possibility of constructing similar molecular switches that can be operated at room temperature and a potential route for fine-tuning of molecular switches in future nanoscale electro-mechanical devices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNanoscale
Early online date22 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Nov 2016

Keywords

  • cis-trans isomerization
  • gold
  • self-assembly
  • molecular switch
  • alkanethiol
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy

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