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Title: Simultaneous and coordinated rotational switching of all molecular rotors in a network

A range of artificial molecular systems have been created that can exhibit controlled linear and rotational motion. In the development of such systems, a key step is the addition of communication between molecules in a network. Here, we show that a two-dimensional array of dipolar molecular rotors can undergo simultaneous rotational switching by applying an electric field from the tip of a scanning tunnelling microscope. Several hundred rotors made from porphyrin-based double-decker complexes can be simultaneously rotated when in a hexagonal rotor network on a Cu(111) surface by applying biases above ±1 V at 80 K. The phenomenon is observed only in a hexagonal rotor network due to the degeneracy of the ground state dipole rotational energy barrier of the system. Defects are essential to increase electric torque on the rotor network and to stabilize the switched rotor domains. At low biases and low initial rotator angles, slight reorientations of individual rotors can occur resulting in the rotator arms pointing in different directions. In conclusion, analysis reveals that the rotator arm directions here are not random, but are coordinated to minimize energy via cross talk among the rotors through dipolar interactions.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Ohio Univ., Athens, OH (United States)
  2. CNRS, Toulouse (France)
  3. CNRS, Toulouse (France); Univ. de Toulouse, Toulouse (France)
  4. Ohio Univ., Athens, OH (United States); Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Nanotechnology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-3387
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: