Probing the atomic limit of forces and engineered electronic structure with single molecules

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We use the atomic manipulation capabilities of a custom-built scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to manipulate individual molecules to study the limits of force sensing and electronic structure engineering. The system studied is CO molecules adsorbed on the Cu(111) surface. Both the molecular vibrational modes and the electron wave scattering properties of the CO molecules are used in these studies. First, the evolution of the molecular vibrational modes of a single CO molecule adsorbed on the surface are studied during the formation of a single molecule junction through isotopic labeling. Electrical contact to the molecule is made for point contact measurements. Second, the vibron virtualization experiment illustrates the non-local detection of the vibrational properties of the CO molecule through inelastic scattering by engineering the electronic states of a quantum corral. Third, a novel molecular cantilever is created by functionalizing the STM tip with a CO molecule. The molecular cantilever is used as a non-contact atomic force microscope probe by detecting the shifts in vibrational mode energy of the attached CO molecule through inelastic tunneling spectroscopy. Lastly, CO molecules are used as a periodic potential to pattern a two-dimensional electron gas to create the electronic band structure of graphene, realizing Dirac quasiparticles. Control over the hopping texture is exercised to open an energy gap at the Dirac point and to impart a pseudo-magnetic field on the lattice. The molecular cantilever experiment and artificial graphene experiment both represent techniques and concepts that can be extended upon in the future by using different molecules and building different lattices, respectively. These experiments show that one can use single molecules to study and make new materials and devices.


Type of resource text
Form electronic; electronic resource; remote
Extent 1 online resource.
Publication date 2012
Issuance monographic
Language English


Associated with Mar, Warren
Associated with Stanford University, Department of Electrical Engineering
Primary advisor Manoharan, Harindran C. (Harindran Chelvasekaran), 1969-
Thesis advisor Manoharan, Harindran C. (Harindran Chelvasekaran), 1969-
Thesis advisor Goldhaber-Gordon, David, 1972-
Thesis advisor Wong, Hon-Sum Philip, 1959-
Advisor Goldhaber-Gordon, David, 1972-
Advisor Wong, Hon-Sum Philip, 1959-


Genre Theses

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Warren Mar.
Note Submitted to the Department of Electrical Engineering.
Thesis Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2012.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2012 by Warren Mar

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