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Imaging Reconfigurable Molecular Concentration on a Graphene Field-Effect Transistor


The spatial arrangement of adsorbates deposited onto a clean surface under vacuum typically cannot be reversibly tuned. Here we use scanning tunneling microscopy to demonstrate that molecules deposited onto graphene field-effect transistors (FETs) exhibit reversible, electrically tunable surface concentration. Continuous gate-tunable control over the surface concentration of charged F4TCNQ molecules was achieved on a graphene FET at T = 4.5K. This capability enables the precisely controlled impurity doping of graphene devices and also provides a new method for determining molecular energy level alignment based on the gate-dependence of molecular concentration. Gate-tunable molecular concentration is explained by a dynamical molecular rearrangement process that reduces total electronic energy by maintaining Fermi level pinning in the device substrate. The molecular surface concentration is fully determined by the device back-gate voltage, its geometric capacitance, and the energy difference between the graphene Dirac point and the molecular LUMO level.

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