Some two-dimensional liquid systems are theoretically predicted to have an anomalous phase transition due to unique intermolecular interactions, for example the first-order transition between two-dimensional high-density water and low-density amorphous ice. However, it has never been experimentally observed, to the best of our knowledge. Here we report an entropy-driven phase transition between a high-density liquid crystal and low-density crystalline solid, directly observed by scanning tunneling microscope in carbon monoxide adsorbed on Cu(111). Combined with first principle calculations, we find that repulsive dipole-dipole interactions between carbon monoxide molecules lead to unconventional thermodynamics. This finding of unconventional thermodynamics in two-dimensional carbon monoxide not only provides a platform to study the fundamental principles of anomalous phase transitions in two-dimensional liquids at the atomic scale, but may also help to design and develop more efficient copper-based catalysis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)