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Controlled Mechanical Manipulation of Molecules

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 CM3 project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the CM3 project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "CM3" about.

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Project "CM3" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: JULICH
postcode: 52428

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 1˙465˙944 €
 EC max contribution 1˙465˙944 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-01-01   to  2022-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    FORSCHUNGSZENTRUM JULICH GMBH DE (JULICH) coordinator 1˙465˙944.00


 Project objective

The idea to freely control the atomic-scale structure of matter has intrigued scientists for many decades. The low-temperature scanning probe microscope (LT SPM) has become the instrument of choice for this task since it allows the rearrangement of atoms and molecules on a surface. There is, however, no generic SPM-based method for the manipulation of molecules beyond lateral rearrangement. The goal of this project is to develop controlled mechanical manipulation of molecules (CM3) in which a LT SPM is used to handle large organic molecules in three dimensions with optimal control over position, orientation and shape. CM3 will become a game-changing technique for research on molecular properties and molecular-scale engineering, because it combines fully deterministic manipulation with broad access to molecular degrees of freedom for the first time. In CM3 the tip is attached to a single reactive atom within a molecule. Tip displacement guides the molecule into a desired conformation while the surface provides a second (weaker) fixation. The fundamental challenge addressed by this project is the identification of precise molecular conformations at any time during manipulation. The solution is a big data approach where large batches of automatically recorded SPM manipulation data are structured using machine learning and interpreted by comparison to atomistic simulations. The key idea is a comparison of entire conformation spaces at once, which is robust, even if the theory is not fully quantitative. The obtained map of the conformation space is used to determine molecular conformations during manipulation by methods of control theory. The effectiveness of this approach will be demonstrated in experiments that unambiguously reveal the structure-conductance relation for a series of molecules and that realize the engineering paradigm of piecewise assembly on the molecular scale by constructing a direct current rotor / motor from individual components.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Sumit Tewari, Jacob Bakermans, Christian Wagner, Federica Galli, Jan M van Ruitenbeek
Intuitive human interface to a scanning tunnelling microscope: observation of parity oscillations for a single atomic chain
published pages: 337-348, ISSN: 2190-4286, DOI: 10.3762/bjnano.10.33
Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology 10 2020-01-21
2019 Christian Wagner, F Stefan Tautz
The theory of scanning quantum dot microscopy
published pages: , ISSN: 0953-8984, DOI: 10.1088/1361-648x/ab2d09
Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 2020-01-21
2019 Christian Wagner, Matthew. F. B. Green, Michael Maiworm, Philipp Leinen, Taner Esat, Nicola Ferri, Niklas Friedrich, Rolf Findeisen, Alexandre Tkatchenko, Ruslan Temirov, F. Stefan Tautz
Quantitative imaging of electric surface potentials with single-atom sensitivity
published pages: 853-859, ISSN: 1476-1122, DOI: 10.1038/s41563-019-0382-8
Nature Materials 18 2020-01-21

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