Dissociation of Individual Molecules with Electrons from the Tip of a Scanning Tunneling Microscope

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Science  06 Mar 1992:
Vol. 255, Issue 5049, pp. 1232-1235
DOI: 10.1126/science.255.5049.1232


The scanning tunneling microscope (STM) can be used to select a particular adsorbed molecule, probe its electronic structure, dissociate the molecule by using electrons from the STM tip, and then examine the dissociation products. These capabilities are demonstrated for decaborane(14) (B10H14) molecules adsorbed on a silicon(111)-(7 x 7) surface. In addition to basic studies, such selective dissociation processes can be used in a variety of applications to control surface chemistry on the molecular scale.