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Nanoscale probe reveals interactions between surfaces and single molecules
Date:11/17/2010

to which electrons of the contact interact with those of the single molecule. Two key aspects of polarizability measurements are the ability to do the measurement on a surface with subnanometer resolution, and the ability to understand and to control molecular switches in both the on and off states.

To measure the polarizability of single molecules the research team developed a probe capable of simultaneous scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) measurements and microwave difference frequency (MDF) measurements. With the MDF capabilities of the probe, the team was able to locate single molecule switches on substrates, even when the switches were in the off state, a key capability lacking in previous techniques. Once the team located the switches, they could use the STM to change the state to on or off and to measure the interactions in each state between the single molecule switches and the substrate.

The new information provided by the team's probe focuses on what the limits of electronics will be, rather than targeting devices for production. Also, because the probe is capable of a wide variety of measurements including physical, chemical and electronic it could enable researchers to identify submolecular structures in complex biomolecules and assemblies.


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Contact: Jennifer Marcus
jmarcus@cnsi.ucla.edu
310-267-4839
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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