Open Access Nano Express

Crystallographic order and decomposition of [MnIII 6CrIII]3+ single-molecule magnets deposited in submonolayers and monolayers on HOPG studied by means of molecular resolved atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Kelvin probe force microscopy in UHV

Aaron Gryzia1*, Timm Volkmann1, Armin Brechling1, Veronika Hoeke2, Lilli Schneider3, Karsten Kuepper3, Thorsten Glaser2 and Ulrich Heinzmann1

Author Affiliations

1 Molecular and Surface Physics, Bielefeld University, Universitaetsstr 25, Bielefeld 33615, Germany

2 Inorganic Chemistry, Bielefeld University, Universitaetsstr 25, Bielefeld 33615, Germany

3 Elektronische Struktur (Experiment), Osnabrueck University, Barbarastrasse 7, Osnabrueck 49069, Germany

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:60  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-60

Published: 5 February 2014

Abstract

Monolayers and submonolayers of [MnIII6CrIII]3+ single-molecule magnets (SMMs) adsorbed on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) using the droplet technique characterized by non-contact atomic force microscopy (nc-AFM) as well as by Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) show island-like structures with heights resembling the height of the molecule. Furthermore, islands were found which revealed ordered 1D as well as 2D structures with periods close to the width of the SMMs. Along this, islands which show half the heights of intact SMMs were observed which are evidences for a decomposing process of the molecules during the preparation. Finally, models for the structure of the ordered SMM adsorbates are proposed to explain the observations.

Keywords:
AFM; KPFM; Single-molecule magnet; HOPG; Ordered monolayer; Decomposition; UHV