Publication
Physical Review Letters
Paper

Accessing a Charged Intermediate State Involved in the Excitation of Single Molecules

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Abstract

Intermediate states are elusive to many experimental techniques due to their short lifetimes. Here, by performing single-electron alternate charging scanning tunneling microscopy of molecules on insulators, we accessed a charged intermediate state involved in the rapid toggling of individual metal phthalocyanines deposited on NaCl films. By stabilizing the transient species, we reveal how electron injection into the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital leads to a pronounced change in the adsorption geometry, characterized by a different azimuthal orientation. This observation allows clarifying the nature of the toggling process, unveiling the role of transient ionic states involved into fundamental processes occurring at interfaces.

Date

03 Jul 2019

Publication

Physical Review Letters

Authors

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