Imaging structural transitions in organometallic molecules on Ag(100) for solar thermal energy storage

Jongweon Cho, Ivan V. Pechenezhskiy, Luis Berbil-Bautista, Steven K. Meier, K. Peter C. Vollhardt, Michael F. Crommie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The use of opto-thermal molecular energy storage at the nanoscale creates new opportunities for powering future microdevices with flexible synthetic tailorability. Practical application of these molecular materials, however, requires a deeper microscopic understanding of how their behavior is altered by the presence of different types of substrates. Here, we present single-molecule-resolved scanning tunneling microscopy imaging of thermally- and optically-induced structural transitions in (fulvalene)tetracarbonyldiruthenium molecules adsorbed onto a Ag(100) surface as a prototype system. Both the parent complex and the photoisomer display distinct thermally-driven phase transformations when they are in contact with a Ag(100) surface. This behavior is consistent with the loss of carbonyl ligands due to strong molecule-surface coupling. Ultraviolet radiation induces marked structural changes only in the intact parent complex, thus indicating a photoisomerization reaction. These results demonstrate how stimuli-induced structural transitions in this class of molecule depend on the nature of the underlying substrate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-590
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Korean Physical Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy storage
  • Fulvalene
  • Isomerization
  • Ruthenium
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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