Emergent Relativistic Effects in Condensed Matter
From Fundamental Aspects to Electronic Functionality

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11.10.2019

Chemical bond formation showing a transition from physisorption to chemisorption


F. Huber, J. Berwanger, S. Polesya, S. Mankovsky, H. Ebert, F.J. Giessibl

Science

Surface molecules can transition from physisorption through weak van-der-Waals forces to a strongly bound chemisorption state by overcoming an energy barrier. We show that a CO molecule adsorbed to the tip of an atomic force microscope enables a controlled observation of bond formation, including its potential transition from physisorption to chemisorption. During imaging of Cu and Fe adatoms on a Cu(111) surface, the CO was not chemically inert but transited through a physisorbed local energy minimum into a chemisorbed global minimum, and an energy barrier was seen for the Fe adatom. Density functional theory reveals that the transition occurs through a hybridization of the electronic states of the CO molecule mainly with s-, pz- and dz2-type states of the Fe and Cu adatoms, leading to chemical bonding.

 

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2019/09/11/science.aay3444

https://www.uni-regensburg.de/pressearchiv/pressemitteilung/1012206.html

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