If two people (groups) have the same idea, it cannot be entirely wrong. The other group which has an STM connect with an electrospray ion beam deposition system (R. Berndts group, Univ. Kiel) worked in parallel on a very similar project. The adsorption of dyes on surfaces for the purpose of energy conversion seems important enough to immediately trigger the idea to look at it with STM. But: you need an ES-IBD system to do it. Initially also James O’Shea in Nottingham built his simple electrospray deposition (ESD) source for that purpose.
We looked at the Ruthenium dye N3 on anatase, which is important for dye sensitized solar cells. This work was really tough, because the anatase surface is not easy to prepare, but Christopher made it. And then we used a vacuum suitcase (more about those at another time), which can be intense too. Anyhow, we made nice surfaces with N3 on (tested with DINeC mass spectrometry. very cool!) and the guys at the LT STM measured the electronic structure. Recently our paper came out:
Atomic-Scale Observation of Multiconformational Binding and Energy Level Alignment of Ruthenium-Based Photosensitizers on TiO2 Anatase
Christopher S Kley, Christian Dette, Gordon Rinke, Christopher E Patrick, Jan Čechal, Soon Jung Jung, Markus Baur, Michael Dürr, Stephan Rauschenbach, Feliciano Giustino, Sebastian Stepanow, Klaus Kern