A Molecule Carrier

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Science  09 Mar 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5817, pp. 1391-1393
DOI: 10.1126/science.1135302

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We found that anthraquinone diffuses along a straight line across a flat, highly symmetric Cu(111) surface. It can also reversibly attach one or two CO2 molecules as “cargo” and act as a “molecule carrier,” thereby transforming the diffusive behavior of the CO2 molecules from isotropic to linear. Density functional theory calculations indicated a substrate-mediated attraction of ∼0.12 electron volt (eV). Scanning tunneling microscopy revealed individual steps of the molecular complex on its diffusion pathway, with increases of ∼0.03 and ∼0.02 eV in the diffusion barrier upon attachment of the first and second CO2 molecule, respectively.

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