Single-Bond Formation and Characterization with a Scanning Tunneling Microscope

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Science  26 Nov 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5445, pp. 1719-1722
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5445.1719

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A scanning tunneling microscope (STM) was used to manipulate the bonding of a carbon monoxide (CO) molecule and to analyze the structure and vibrational properties of individual products. Individual iron (Fe) atoms were evaporated and coadsorbed with CO molecules on a silver (110) surface at 13 kelvin. A CO molecule was transferred from the surface to the STM tip and bonded with an Fe atom to form Fe(CO). A second CO molecule was similarly transferred and bonded with Fe(CO) to form Fe(CO)2. Controlled bond formation and characterization at the single-bond level probe chemistry at the spatial limit.

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