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The DNA base thymine is deposited at 100 K on Cu(111) and investigated and manipulated by low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy at 5 K. At submonolayer coverage paired rows are observed. At monolayer coverage a hexagonal commensurate self-assembled layer with the methyl group pointing away from the surface forms. A reversible local manipulation of molecules within the self-assembled layer is demonstrated. This manipulation is interpreted as an out-of-plane relaxation of molecules within the layer induced by the change of the adsorption geometry of individual molecules between two meta-stable orientations. A positive field of 2-4 V leads to this local change in the molecular arrangement, while a field larger than 4 V restores the original geometry.


Fatih Kalkan, Michael Mehlhorn, Karina Morgenstern. A switch based on self-assembled thymine. Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal. 2012 Oct 3;24(39):394010

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PMID: 22964380

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