Research Article

Determining structural and chemical heterogeneities of surface species at the single-bond limit

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Science  19 Feb 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6531, pp. 818-822
DOI: 10.1126/science.abd1827

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Joint strategy for surface chemistry

Recent advances in the development of tip-based microscopy have led to angstrom-scale spatial resolution, but no technique provides univocal characterization of the structural and chemical heterogeneities of surface species. Using a model system of pentacene derivatives on the Ag(110) surface, Xu et al. show that the combination of scanning tunneling microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and tip-enhanced Raman scattering provides the electronic, structural, and chemical information sufficiently correlated for an unambiguous characterization of the different—but structurally similar—chemical species and their interaction with the metal surface with single-bond resolution. The proposed multitechnique approach could find wide application in fundamental studies of heterogeneous catalysis and surface chemistry in general.

Science, this issue p. 818

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