Local probe-induced structural isomerization in a one-dimensional molecular array

Shigeki Kawai, Orlando J. Silveira, Lauri Kurki, Zhangyu Yuan, Tomohiko Nishiuchi, Takuya Kodama, Kewei Sun, Oscar Custance, Jose L. Lado, Takashi Kubo, Adam S. Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Synthesis of one-dimensional molecular arrays with tailored stereoisomers is challenging yet has great potential for application in molecular opto-, electronic- and magnetic-devices, where the local array structure plays a decisive role in the functional properties. Here, we demonstrate the construction and characterization of dehydroazulene isomer and diradical units in three-dimensional organometallic compounds on Ag(111) with a combination of low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory calculations. Tip-induced voltage pulses firstly result in the formation of a diradical species via successive homolytic fission of two C-Br bonds in the naphthyl groups, which are subsequently transformed into chiral dehydroazulene moieties. The delicate balance of the reaction rates among the diradical and two stereoisomers, arising from an in-line configuration of tip and molecular unit, allows directional azulene-to-azulene and azulene-to-diradical local probe structural isomerization in a controlled manner. Furthermore, our theoretical calculations suggest that the diradical moiety hosts an open-shell singlet with antiferromagnetic coupling between the unpaired electrons, which can undergo an inelastic spin transition of 91 meV to the ferromagnetically coupled triplet state.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7741
Pages (from-to)7741
Number of pages1
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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