Vibrationally Resolved Fluorescence Excited with Submolecular Precision

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Science  24 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5606, pp. 542-546
DOI: 10.1126/science.1078675

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Tunneling electrons from a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) were used to excite photon emission from individual porphyrin molecules adsorbed on an ultrathin alumina film grown on a NiAl(110) surface. Vibrational features were observed in the light-emission spectra that depended sensitively on the different molecular conformations and corresponding electronic states obtained by scanning tunneling spectroscopy. The high spatial resolution of the STM enabled the demonstration of variations in light-emission spectra from different parts of the molecule. These experiments realize the feasibility of fluorescence spectroscopy with the STM and enable the integration of optical spectroscopy with a nanoprobe for the investigation of single molecules.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: wilsonho{at}

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