Initiating and imaging the coherent surface dynamics of charge carriers in real space

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The tip of a scanning tunnelling microscope is an atomic-scale source of electrons and holes. As the injected charge spreads out it can induce adsorbed molecules to react. By comparing large-scale `before' and 'after' images of an adsorbate covered surface, the spatial extent of the nonlocal manipulation is revealed. Here we measure the nonlocal manipulation of toluene molecules on the Si(111)-7x7 surface at room temperature. Both the range and probability of nonlocal manipulation have a voltage dependence. A region within 5 to 15 nm of the injection site shows a marked reduction in manipulation. We propose that this region marks the extent of the initial coherent (i.e., ballistic) time-dependent evolution of the injected charge carrier. Using scanning tunnelling spectroscopy, we develop a model of this time-dependent expansion of the initially localized hole wavepacket within a particular surface state and deduce a quantum coherence (ballistic) lifetime of ∼ 10 fs.
LanguageEnglish
Article number12839
Pages1-7
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
Early online date28 Sep 2016
DOIs
StatusPublished - 28 Sep 2016

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Ballistics
Charge carriers
manipulators
charge carriers
Scanning
Imaging techniques
Molecules
Toluene
Surface states
Adsorbates
ballistics
Spectrum Analysis
Microscopes
Spectroscopy
Electrons
Injections
Temperature
scanning
Electric potential
toluene

Cite this

Initiating and imaging the coherent surface dynamics of charge carriers in real space. / Sloan, Peter; Rusimova, Kristina; Lock, Duncan; Crampin, Simon; Bannister, Nicola; Harrison, Patrick.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 7, 12839, 28.09.2016, p. 1-7.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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