Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2010, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (10): 2686-2690.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB20101012

• CATALYSIS AND SURFACE STRUCTURE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Electric Field Assisted Hopping of Tert-Butylamine on Cu(111) Surface

XU Yu-Qun, ZHANG Jun, YUAN Bing-Kai, DENG Ke, YANG Rong, QIU Xiao-Hui   

  1. National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing 100190, P. R. China
  • Received:2010-06-13 Revised:2010-07-15 Published:2010-09-27
  • Contact: QIU Xiao-Hui
  • Supported by:

    The project was supported by the National Key Basic Research Programof China (973) (2006CB921502) and Knowledge Innovation Programof the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KJCX2-YW-M04).


The lateral hopping of tert-butylamine (t-BA) molecules ona Cu(111) surface was studied by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) at 78 K. The hopping probabilities of the molecules in the tunneling junction were found to depend linearly on the applied tunneling current, indicating a single electron-induced process. Hopping probabilities under an electric field of opposite polarity was found to be different. This non-equivalence is attributed to an electric field assisted diffusion where the adsorption energy and the diffusion barrier of the t-BA molecule are different when the polar molecule is subjected to opposite electric fields.

Key words: Scanning tunneling microscope, Single molecule, Hopping phenomenon, Electronic excitation, Electric field in a tunneling junction


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