Dispersion Interactions Enable the Self-Directed Growth of Linear Alkane Nanostructures Covalently Bound to Silicon
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Current interest in methods for controllably adding organic molecules to silicon surfaces relates to proposed hybrid silicon-organic devices. It was recently shown that a "self-directed" growth process, requiring only limited scanned probe intervention, has the potential to permit rapid, parallel production of ordered molecular nanostructures on silicon with predefined absolute position, structure, composition, and extent of growth. The hybrid organic-silicon structures formed are bound by strong covalent interactions. In this work, we use scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory techniques to show that molecule-surface dispersion interactions enable the growth process and play a crucial role in the final configurations of the nanostructures.
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