Quantifying the atomic-level mechanics of single long physisorbed molecular chains

Kawai, Shigeki and Koch, Matthias and Gnecco, Enrico and Sadeghi, Ali and Pawlak, Remy and Glatzel, Thilo and Schwarz, Jutta and Goedecker, Stefan and Hecht, Stefan and Baratoff, Alexis and Grill, Leonhard and Meyer, Ernst. (2014) Quantifying the atomic-level mechanics of single long physisorbed molecular chains. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111 (11). pp. 3968-3972.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6298895

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Individual in situ polymerized fluorene chains 10–100 nm long linked by C–C bonds are pulled vertically from an Au(111) substrate by the tip of a low-temperature atomic force microscope. The conformation of the selected chains is imaged before and after manipulation using scanning tunneling microscopy. The measured force gradient shows strong and periodic variations that correspond to the step-by-step detachment of individual fluorene repeat units. These variations persist at constant intensity until the entire polymer is completely removed from the surface. Calculations based on an extended Frenkel–Kontorova model reproduce the periodicity and magnitude of these features and allow us to relate them to the detachment force and desorption energy of the repeat units. The adsorbed part of the polymer slides easily along the surface during the pulling process, leading to only small oscillations as a result of the high stiffness of the fluorenes and of their length mismatch with respect to the substrate surface structure. A significant lateral force also is caused by the sequential detachment of individual units. The gained insight into the molecule–surface interactions during sliding and pulling should aid the design of mechanoresponsive nanosystems and devices.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Physik > Physik > Nanomechanik (Meyer)
UniBasel Contributors:Glatzel, Thilo and Kawai, Shigeki and Sadeghi, Ali and Gnecco, Enrico and Pawlak, Rémy and Goedecker, Stefan and Meyer, Ernst
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:26 May 2016 07:13
Deposited On:06 Feb 2015 09:59

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