The imaging and control of self-assembled, physisorbed monolayers have been the subject of numerous scanning tunneling microscopy and atomic force microscopy investigations. The successful interpretation of the structures observed in scanning probe images of molecules self-assembled at liquid-solid and gas-solid interfaces has benefited greatly from recent experimental and theoretical work. These studies are converging on a general tunneling mechanism that accounts for the images of weakly bound, insulating adsorbates. Experiments in which the dynamical behavior of these monolayers has been monitored as a function of time both statically and after the introduction of an external perturbation are described, and novel studies of the selective control of monolayer structure that make use of internal and external electric fields, photons, and solvent coadsorption are reviewed.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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