Lateral Hopping of Molecules Induced by Excitation of Internal Vibration Mode

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Science  15 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5562, pp. 2055-2058
DOI: 10.1126/science.1069016

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We demonstrate electron-stimulated migration for carbon monoxide (CO) molecules adsorbed on the Pd(110) surface, which is initiated by the excitation of a high-frequency (HF) vibrational mode (C–O stretching mode) with inelastic tunneling electrons from the tip of scanning tunneling microscopy. The hopping phenomenon, however, cannot be detected for CO/Cu(110), even though the hopping barrier is lower than in the CO/Pd(110) case. A theoretical model, which is based on the anharmonic coupling between low-frequency modes (the hindered-translational mode related to the lateral hopping) and the HF mode combined with electron-hole pair excitation, can explain why the hopping of CO is observed on Pd(110) but not on Cu(110).

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