Patterning of self-assembled monolayers based on differences in molecular conductance

Cai Shen, Manfred Buck

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) is used for replacement patterning of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of thiols on a sub-10nm scale. Contrasting other schemes of scanning probe patterning of SAMs, the exchange of molecules relies on differences in conductance and, thus, occurs under tunneling conditions where the resolution of the tip is maintained. Exchange takes place at the boundary between different thiols but only when the tip moves from areas of lower to higher conductance. In combination with SAMs which exhibit excellent structural quality, patterns with a contour definition of 1 molecule, lines as thin as 2.5nm and islands with an area of less than 20 nm2 are straightforwardly produced. It is suggested that the shear force exerted onto the molecules with the lower conductance triggers displacement of the one with higher conductance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number245306
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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