Wednesday, May 12, 2021

A Molecular Drone for Atomic‐Scale Fabrication Working under Ambient Conditions

Pretty cool stuff going on, please check the interview of the scientist here (LINK). Thanks for sharing this one Henrik Pedersen.

A Molecular Drone for Atomic‐Scale Fabrication Working under Ambient Conditions

Matteo Baldoni Francesco Mercuri Massimiliano Cavallini
Advanced Materials Communications, First published: 12 April 2021

The direct manipulation of individual atoms has led to the advancement of exciting cutting‐edge technologies in sub‐nanometric fabrication, information storage and to the exploration of quantum technologies. Atom manipulation is currently performed by scanning probe microscopy (SPM), which enables an extraordinary spatial control, but provides a low throughput, requiring complex critical experimental conditions and advanced instrumentation. Here, a new paradigm is demonstrated for surface atom manipulation that overcomes the limitations of SPM techniques by replacing the SPM probe with a coordination compound that exploits surface atom complexation as a tool for atomic‐scale fabrication. The coordination compound works as a “molecular drone”: it lands onto a substrate, bonds to a specific atom on the surface, picks it up, and then leaves the surface along with the extracted atom, thus creating an atomic vacancy in a specific position on the surface. Remarkably, the feasibility of the process is demonstrated under electrochemical control and the stability of the fabricated pattern at room temperature, under ambient conditions.

Phthalocyanine molecule can act as a ‘molecular drone’ from Chemistry World on Vimeo.

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