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Electronically Induced Atom Motion in Engineered CoCun Nanostructures

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Science  18 Aug 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5789, pp. 948-951
DOI: 10.1126/science.1129788

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Abstract

We have measured the quantum yield for exciting the motion of a single Co atom in CoCun linear molecules constructed on a Cu(111) surface. The Co atom switched between two lattice positions during electron excitation from the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope. The tip location with highest probability for inducing motion was consistent with the position of an active state identified through electronic structure calculations. Atom motion within the molecule decreased with increased molecular length and reflected the corresponding variation in electronic structure.

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