Scanning probe microscopy has had a tremendous impact in sciences - it allows a profound peek at the nanoscale. Yet, atomic resolution in molecules remained elusive for a long time. The advent of CO-functionalized tips allowed for something extraordinary: atomically resolved images on planar molecules and the elucidation of chemical structures.
The combination of high-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy and atomic force microscopy has allowed different textbook chemistry concepts (e.g. bond-order, aromaticity and oxidation states) to be probed in unforeseen ways. Moreover, it is possible to characterize batches of synthesized products one molecule at a time and create a library of the chemical structures in ways that are prohibitive to standard analytical tools in chemistry.
Here, I will show how such measurements are performed. Then, we will go through different aspects of on-surface reactions and its chemical wonders.
Shadi is an Assistant Professor in the Applied Physics program in KAUST. He joined KAUST in 2022, coming from IBM Research Zurich where he was a predoctoral and postdoctoral researcher. He obtained his PhD from ETH Zurich in 2018 and received the 'ETH Silver Medal for Outstanding PhD thesis'. Shadi is the author of about 30 publications (Science, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Chemistry, JACS, Physical Review Letters, etc.) and one patent. He has received the 'Outstanding IBM Accomplishment Award' for both his work on single-electron electrochemistry and for single-molecule chemical reactions.
Applied Physics, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)