Studying photonic excitations of carborane and fullerene nanomachines by probe microscopy
Kelly, Kevin F.
Doctor of Philosophy
Using scanning tunneling microscopy, we have successfully imaged and characterized a variety of nanomachines based on both carborane and fullerene molecules. In addition to individual manipulation by the probe, we also investigated photon-based excitation for activating the molecular motion. In the optical regime, we studied the geometrical change of azofullerene dimers that accompanies tran-cis isomerization upon photon irradiation. Furthermore, we observed rotational excitation of fullerenes on Au(111) under microwave stimulation. The results of these studies underscore the ability to control individual molecular motions through tailored external excitations and open a new potential for nanoscale mechanical, chemical, and electrical devices.