Firing Photoelectrons from STM Tips

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Science  02 Jun 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5778, pp. 1273d
DOI: 10.1126/science.312.5778.1273d

The high spatial resolution afforded by the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) has been used to transfer a photoexcited electron from the STM tip to a molecule. Wu et al. (p. 1362, published online 20 April) adsorbed magnesium porphine on a thin oxide film grown on a metal and then varied the incident radiation at a nearby STM tip from near-infrared to green. The molecules accept the electron through a two-step, photon-assisted resonance tunneling pathway. This method allows the excited and charged states to be mapped out as a function of position and photon energy.

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