Ultrahigh Resolution Molecular Imaging

Ground-breaking results pioneered by Leo Gross and co-workers at IBM Zurich have demonstrated the stunning ability to image individual molecules at the level of their constituent atoms and chemical bonds (e.g. L. Gross et al., Science 325, 1110 (2009)).

We utilise ultrahigh resolution molecular imaging to determine the precise chemical structure of molecules and the interactions responsible for their assembly. Our long-term aim is to convert this surface science method into a powerful and transformative analytical technique capable of determining the chemical structure of molecular materials that cannot be solved by standard analytical methods.

In this way, we will realise Feynman’s visionary prediction that “It would be very easy to make an analysis of any complicated chemical substance; all one would have to do would be to look at it and see where the atoms are” (Richard Feynman, There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom, 1959).

Direct comparison between standard and bond-resolved STM imaging of 3,9-Br2PXX molecules self-assemble into kagome-type structures [1.]

Key publications:

  1. Combining high-resolution scanning tunnelling microscopy and first-principles simulations to identify halogen bonding
    J. Lawrence, G.C. Sosso, L. Đorđević, H. Pinfold, D. Bonifazi, and G. Costantini
    Nat. Commun. 11, 2103 (2020).
  2. The synthesis and STM / AFM imaging of ‘Olympicene’ benzo[cd]pyrenes
    A. Mistry, B. Moreton, B. Schuler, F. Mohn, G. Meyer, L. Gross, A. Williams, P. Scott, G. Costantini, and D.J. Fox
    Chem. Eur. J. 21, 2011 (2015).
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