Imaging Bond Formation Between a Gold Atom and Pentacene on an Insulating Surface

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Science  26 May 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5777, pp. 1196-1199
DOI: 10.1126/science.1126073

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A covalent bond between an individual pentacene molecule and a gold atom was formed by means of single-molecule chemistry inside a scanning tunneling microscope junction. The bond formation is reversible, and different structural isomers can be produced. The single-molecule synthesis was done on ultrathin insulating films that electronically isolated the reactants and products from their environment. Direct imaging of the orbital hybridization upon bond formation provides insight into the energetic shifts and occupation of the molecular resonances.

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