Vibronic Spectroscopy with Submolecular Resolution from STM-Induced Electroluminescence

Phys Rev Lett. 2017 Mar 24;118(12):127401. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.127401. Epub 2017 Mar 21.


A scanning tunneling microscope is used to generate the electroluminescence of phthalocyanine molecules deposited on NaCl/Ag(111). Photon spectra reveal an intense emission line at ≈1.9 eV that corresponds to the fluorescence of the molecules, and a series of weaker redshifted lines. Based on a comparison with Raman spectra acquired on macroscopic molecular crystals, these spectroscopic features can be associated with the vibrational modes of the molecules and provide a detailed chemical fingerprint of the probed species. Maps of the vibronic features reveal submolecularly resolved structures whose patterns are related to the symmetry of the probed vibrational modes.