Silicon-based molecular nanotechnology

M. C. Hersam, N. P. Guisinger, J. W. Lyding

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


One potential application of molecular nanotechnology is the integration of molecular electronic function with advanced silicon technology. One step in this process is the tethering of individual molecules at specific locations on silicon surfaces. This paper reports the fabrication of arrays of individual organic molecules on H-passivated Si(100) surfaces patterned with an ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunnelling microscope (STM). Feedback controlled lithography (FCL) is used to create templates of individual silicon dangling bonds. Molecules introduced in the gas phase then spontaneously assemble onto these atomic templates. Norbornadiene (NBE), copper phthalocyanine (CuPc), and C60 molecular arrays have been made by this technique and studied by STM imaging and spectroscopy. Both NBE and CuPc molecules appear as depressions in empty states images, whereas in filled states images they are nearly indistinguishable from Si dangling bonds. Furthermore, the fourfold symmetry and central copper atom of CuPc are clearly observed at positive sample bias. Spatial tunnelling conductance maps of CuPc illustrate charge transfer from the surrounding substrate when the molecule is bound to the surface via its central copper atom. On the other hand, when the CuPc molecule interacts with the substrate via an outer benzene ring, molecular rotation is observed. C60 molecules display intramolecular structure in topographic images and spectroscopic data. The local density of states of C60 clearly shows the location of the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital, which suggests that the highest occupied molecular orbital is located within 0.3 eV of the fermi level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-76
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2000
Event7th Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology - Silicon Valley, CA, USA
Duration: Oct 15 1999Oct 17 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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