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Surface science

Topology of two-dimensional C60 domains

Naturevolume 409pages304305 (2001) | Download Citation



Two-dimensional systems possess a unique topological ordering that is not found in either three- or one-dimensional systems1. Using high-resolution scanning tunnelling microscopy, we show here that a 60-carbon-atom (C60) array on a self-assembled monolayer of an alkylthiol forms an ideal two-dimensional system which has another novel topological order originating from the orientational degrees of freedom. At a temperature of 5 K, the two-dimensional C60 forms a domain structure in which the correlation function of the molecular orientation within a domain is constant anywhere (so every C60 has the same orientation) but changes abruptly at domain boundaries. Remarkably, the positional order and the bond-orientational order are both fully preserved across domain boundaries.

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  1. Structure Research Laboratory, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, 230026, PR, China

    • J. G. Hou
    • , Yang Jinlong
    • , Wang Haiqian
    • , Zeng Changgan
    • , Wang Bing
    •  & D. M. Chen
  2. Open Laboratory of Bond Selective Chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei , 230026, PR, China

    • J. G. Hou
    • , Yang Jinlong
    • , Li Qunxiang
    • , Yuan Lanfeng
    •  & Zhu Qingshi
  3. The Rowland Institute for Science, Cambridge, 02142 , Massachusetts, USA

    • D. M. Chen


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Correspondence to J. G. Hou.

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