Special Reviews

Nanoscale Science of Single Molecules Using Local Probes

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Science  12 Mar 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5408, pp. 1683-1688
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5408.1683

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Abstract

Experiments on individual molecules using scanning probe microscopies have demonstrated an exciting diversity of physical, chemical, mechanical, and electronic phenomena. They have permitted deeper insight into the quantum electronics of molecular systems and have provided unique information on their conformational and mechanical properties. Concomitant developments in experimentation and theory have allowed a diverse range of molecules to be studied, varying in complexity from simple diatomics to biomolecular systems. At the level of an individual molecule, the interplays of mechanical and electronical behavior and chemical properties manifest themselves in an unusually clear manner. In revealing the crucial role of thermal, stochastic, and quantum-tunneling processes, they suggest that dynamics is inescapable and may play a decisive role in the evolution of nanotechnology.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: gim{at}zurich.ibm.com

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