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C12-SAM scanning probe images: (a) STM of the bare SAM; (b) t-AFM (; ±5 nm Z-range) on the initial SAM. No changes in the t-AFM images were observed for samples after condensation and sublimation of Xe (150 ML), e.g., RMS roughnesses were equal at . The STM images show the expected hexagonal lattice for the molecular packing (parallel green lines at 60° angles follow the lattice rows) along with the typical molecular domain and pit defects. (a) Bare C12 initial (STM) (b) initial and after Xe Deposition/sublimation.
Results of Au deposition directly onto a SAM at 10 K (a) and under BLAG conditions with Xe ice (d). The corresponding t-AFM and cp-AFM images (Z ranges ±5 nm and ±2 nA for t- and cp- images, respectively) reshown in (b) and (c), respectively, for direct deposition and in (e) and (f), respectively, for BLAG deposition. Line scans (black lines across the cp-images) (bottom) show current spikes (some larger than the scale truncated at −2 nA). Black spots in the cp-images indicate short-circuit filaments growing during Au deposition. Notice the fully insulating character in (f) which shows the striking absence of filament growth in the BLAG process. The corresponding morphology in (e) shows a uniform continuous sheet of Au clusters.
t-AFM and cp-AFM images of deposited on C12 SAMs. (a) Room temperature (300 K); (b) with 150 ML Xe at 10 K (BLAG); and (c) with 300 ML Xe at 10 K (BLAG). Z ranges are ±5 nm and ±2 nA for t- and cp-images, respectively. Line scans (black lines across the cp-images; bottom) show the current spikes.
Randomly sampled, representative I-V characteristics of spots on a Au/C12-SAM/Au molecular junction prepared by the deposition of with a Xe buffer layer (1000 ML) and without Xe buffer layer (0 ML) at .
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