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Study of the Molecular Bending in Azobenzene Self-Assembled Monolayers Observed by Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy in Scanning Tunneling Mode

Abstract : Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) is capable of amplifying the extremely weak Raman response of azobenzene self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), thus allowing for the chemical characterization of the sample surface at the nanoscale. Recently, we introduced a physical model describing the TERS intensity of azobenzene SAMs probed in a scanning tunneling mode configuration (STM-TERS) that takes into account the molecular bending induced by the high electric field inside the tunneling junction. The model predicts quite well the experimental variation in the TERS intensity of a hexyl azobenzene SAM (AzoC6) on gold polycrystalline film (111) by changing the electric field in the gap between the tip and the substrate. Nevertheless, a disagreement between the model and the experiment has been observed while studying, in the same conditions, the TERS intensity of undecyl azobenzene (AzoC11) SAM formed by molecules featuring an alkyl chain that is nearly two times longer with respect to the previous case. In this work, we extend the molecular bending model by considering an additional bending mechanism due to the mechanical interaction between the tip and the SAM, occurring when the tip-to-sample distance is shorter than the molecular length. The extended model is able to describe well the TERS intensity behavior by changing either the bias voltage or the tip-to-sample distance for both AzoC6 and AzoC11. Eventually, we determine quantitatively the difference in the elastic properties of the two molecules physically accounting for the difference in the TERS intensity behavior of the two SAMs.
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https://hal-polytechnique.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02436938
Contributor : Razvigor Ossikovski <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 16, 2020 - 6:32:48 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, February 1, 2020 - 1:53:17 AM

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A. Foti, C. Toccafondi, R. Ossikovski. Study of the Molecular Bending in Azobenzene Self-Assembled Monolayers Observed by Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy in Scanning Tunneling Mode. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, American Chemical Society, 2019, 123 (43), pp.26554-26563. ⟨10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b08299⟩. ⟨hal-02436938⟩

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