Emergence of photoswitchable states in a graphene-azobenzene-au platform

Emanuela Margapoti, Philipp Strobel, Mahmoud M. Asmar, Max Seifert, Juan Li, Matthias Sachsenhauser, Özlem Ceylan, Carlos Andres Palma, Johannes V. Barth, Jose A. Garrido, Anna Cattani-Scholz, Sergio E. Ulloa, Jonathan J. Finley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The perfect transmission of charge carriers through potential barriers in graphene (Klein tunneling) is a direct consequence of the Dirac equation that governs the low-energy carrier dynamics. As a result, localized states do not exist in unpatterned graphene, but quasibound states can occur for potentials with closed integrable dynamics. Here, we report the observation of resonance states in photoswitchable self-assembled molecular(SAM)-graphene hybrid. Conductive AFM measurements performed at room temperature reveal strong current resonances, the strength of which can be reversibly gated on- and off- by optically switching the molecular conformation of the mSAM. Comparisons of the voltage separation between current resonances (∼70-120 mV) with solutions of the Dirac equation indicate that the radius of the gating potential is ∼7 ± 2 nm with a strength ≥0.5 eV. Our results and methods might provide a route toward optically programmable carrier dynamics and transport in graphene nanomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6823-6827
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - 10 Dec 2014


  • atomic microscopy
  • doping
  • graphene
  • photochromatic molecules


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