Surface anchoring and dynamics of thiolated azobenzene molecules on Au(111)

Jongweon Cho*, Niv Levy, Armen Kirakosian, Matthew J. Comstock, Frank Lauterwasser, Jean M.J. Fŕchet, Michael F. Crommie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We have investigated the temperature-dependent behavior of thiolated azobenzene molecules on Au(111) using scanning tunneling microscopy. The addition of a thiol functional group to azobenzene molecules leads to increased surface anchoring of single azobenzene molecules to gold. Thiolated azobenzene shows diverse surface morphology and does not form well-ordered structures at low coverage. At elevated temperatures, anchored molecules are observed to spin in place via hindered rotation. By measuring the number of rotating molecules as a function of temperature and using a simple model, we are able to estimate the energy barrier and attempt frequency for thermally induced hindered rotation to be 102±3 meV and 110±2 GHz, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034707
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Luis Berbil-Batista and Dan Poulsen for helpful discussions. Financial support for this work was provided by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering Division, U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF0098.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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