The ability to covalently attach organic molecules to semiconductor surfaces in a controllable and selective manner is currently receiving much attention due to the potential for creating hybrid silicon−organic molecular-electronic devices. Here we use scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and density functional theory calculations to study the adsorption of a simple ketone [acetone; (CH₃)₂CO] to the silicon (001) surface. We show both bias and time-dependent STM images and their agreement with total energy DFT calculations, simulated STM images, and published spectroscopic data. We investigate the stability of the resulting adsorbate structures with respect to temperature and applied STM tip bias and current. We demonstrate the ability to convert from the kinetically favored single-dimer α-H cleavage adsorbate structure to thermodynamically favored bridge-bonded adsorbate structures. This can be performed for the entire surface using a thermal anneal or, for individual molecules, using the highly confined electron beam of the STM tip. We propose the use of the carbonyl functional group to tether organic molecules to silicon may lead to increased stability of the adsorbates with respect to current−voltage characterization. This has important implications for the creation of robust single-molecule devices.
Journal of the American Chemical Society Vol. 129, Issue 37, p. 11402-11407