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First controlled vertical manipulation of a single H atom with AFM tip

•, brian wang

In the framework of so-called mechanochemistry,
[1] mechanical force induced reactions have been studied using NCAFM.
[2] Recent works reported force induced atomic-scale switching,
[3] quantitative force measurements to induce the diffusion of single atoms
[4] and molecules,
[5] as well as studying molecular conformers
[6] and tautomerization.
[7] A few earlier studies also showed examples of mechanically induced vertical manipulation of single atoms. [8, 9] However, direct observation of mechanically induced covalent bonding of two different atoms using NC-AFM remain scarce.

Researchers report the first controlled vertical manipulation of a single H atom using the tip of an AFM sensor and its application in characterizing and engineering silicon DB-based structures of relevance to nanoelectronic devices.

They showed that following a tip induced desorption, a hydrogen atom can be deposited on the surface or transfered to the tip apex resulting in a H-functionalized tip. The physisorbed single hydrogen atom on the chemically inert H-Si surface could be stably imaged in STM and AFM modes. The H-functionalized tip was used to
(i) characterize silicon dangling bonds and

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