Nano-corrals for capturing surface electrons are of interest in molecular electronics. Here we show that haloalkane molecules, e.g., 1-chlorododecane, physisorbed on Si(111)-(7 · 7) self-assemble to form dimers stable to 100 C which corral silicon adatoms. Corral size is shown to be governed by the haloalkane chain-length. Spectroscopic and theoretical evidence shows that the haloalkane dimer induces electron transfer to the corralled adatom, shifting its energy levels by 1 eV. Isolation of a labile pre-cursor points to a model for corral formation which combines mobility with immobility; monomers diffusing in a mobile vertical state meet and convert to the immobile horizontal dimers constituting the corrals.
Dobrin, S., Harikumar, K., Jones, R., Li, N., McNab, I., Polanyi, J., Sloan, P., Waqar, Z., Yang, J., Ayissi, S., & Hofer, W. A. (2006). Self-assembled molecular corrals on a semiconductor surface. Surface Science, 600(5), 43-47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.susc.2005.12.044