Physical Review Letters

High-Resolution Molecular Orbital Imaging Using a p-Wave STM Tip

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Individual pentacene and naphthalocyanine molecules adsorbed on a bilayer of NaCl grown on Cu(111) were investigated by means of scanning tunneling microscopy using CO-functionalized tips. The images of the frontier molecular orbitals show an increased lateral resolution compared with those of the bare tip and reflect the modulus squared of the lateral gradient of the wave functions. The contrast is explained by tunneling through the p-wave orbitals of the CO molecule. Comparison with calculations using a Tersoff-Hamann approach, including s- and p-wave tip states, demonstrates the significant contribution of p-wave tip states.