Live Action

Electron + Heat = (Live) Action!
Tuesday 28 October 2014

Atomic manipulation is one of the frontiers of nanotechnology, but has often been confined to cryogenic temperatures. Several studies by the Birmingham group have now shown that the rates of atomic manipulation can be hugely enhanced at elevated temperatures; the most recent paper, by Tian Luo Pan et al in JPC Letters, shows a three order of magnitude increase in the cross-section for desorption of chlorobenzene molecules, induced by non-local electron injection from the STM tip on the Si(111)-7x7 surface, when the temperature is raised from the cryogenic regime to room temperature and above. The phenomenon is associated with a “concerted” electronic-plus-thermal mechanism. This paper was also our first foray into ACS’s LiveSlides forum; you can hear the Shakespearian tones of Tian describing the research here. Bravo!