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Interplay of weak interactions in the atom-by-atom condensation of xenon within quantum boxes
Univ Basel, Dept Phys, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.
Univ Basel, Dept Phys, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.
Univ Basel, Dept Phys, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland; Japan Sci & Technol Agcy JST, PRESTO, Kawaguchi, Saitama 3320012, Japan.
Univ Basel, Dept Phys, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.
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2015 (English)In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 21, no 6, 6071- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Condensation processes are of key importance in nature and play a fundamental role in chemistry and physics. Owing to size effects at the nanoscale, it is conceptually desired to experimentally probe the dependence of condensate structure on the number of constituents one by one. Here we present an approach to study a condensation process atom-by-atom with the scanning tunnelling microscope, which provides a direct real-space access with atomic precision to the aggregates formed in atomically defined 'quantum boxes'. Our analysis reveals the subtle interplay of competing directional and nondirectional interactions in the emergence of structure and provides unprecedented input for the structural comparison with quantum mechanical models. This approach focuses on-but is not limited to-the model case of xenon condensation and goes significantly beyond the well-established statistical size analysis of clusters in atomic or molecular beams by mass spectrometry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 21, no 6, 6071- p.
National Category
Theoretical Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-114463DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7071ISI: 000348830500001PubMedID: 25608225OAI: diva2:789922

We would like to acknowledge the financial support from the National Centre of Competence in Research `Nanoscience' (NCCR-Nano), Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI), Swiss National Science Foundation (grants no. 200020-149713, 206021-121461), the Sao Paulo Research Foundation (grant no. 2013/04855-0), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research NWO (Chemical Sciences, VIDI-grant no. 700.10.424), the European Research Council (ERC-2012-StG 307760-SURFPRO), University of Basel, University of Heidelberg, Linkoping University, University of Groningen, Paul Scherrer Institute and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) `Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO)' for a project of `Molecular technology and creation of new function'. We sincerely thank Marco Martina, Remy Pawlak and Alexander Bubendorf for the support during measurements, as well as Gerhard Meyer, Silvia Schintke, Jorge Lobo-Checa, Manfred Matena and Milos. Baljozovic ' for helpful discussions.

Available from: 2015-02-20 Created: 2015-02-20 Last updated: 2015-03-03

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