Dr. Martin WillenbockelPhD Student Forschungszentrum JülichQuantum Nanoscience (PGI-3)
P. Puschnig, A. D. Boese, M. Willenbockel, M. Meyer, D. Lüftner, E. M. Reinisch, T. Ules, G. Koller, S. Soubatch, M. G. Ramsey, F. S. Tautz
Energy ordering of molecular orbitals Journal Article
In: J. Phys. Chem. Lett., vol. 8, pp. 208-213, 2017.
Orbitals are invaluable in providing a model of bonding in molecules or between molecules and surfaces. Most present-day methods in computational chemistry begin by calculating the molecular orbitals of the system. To what extent have these mathematical objects analogues in the real world? To shed light on this intriguing question, we employ a photoemission tomography study on monolayers of 3,4,9,10-perylene-tetracarboxylic acid dianhydride (PTCDA) grown on three Ag surfaces. The characteristic photoelectron angular distribution enables us to assign individual molecular orbitals to the emission features. When comparing the resulting energy positions to density functional calculations, we observe deviations in the energy ordering. By performing complete active space calculations (CASSCF), we can explain the experimentally observed orbital ordering, suggesting the importance of static electron correlation beyond a (semi)local approximation. On the other hand, our results also show reality and robustness of the orbital concept, thereby making molecular orbitals accessible to experimental observations.
M. Willenbockel, D. Lüftner, B. Stadtmüller, G. Koller, C. Kumpf, S. Soubatch, P. Puschnig, M. G. Ramsey, F. S. Tautz
In: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., vol. 17, pp. 1530-1548, 2015.
What do energy level alignments at metal–organic interfaces reveal about the metal–molecule bonding strength? Is it permissible to take vertical adsorption heights as indicators of bonding strengths? In this paper we analyse 3,4,9,10-perylene-tetracarboxylic acid dianhydride (PTCDA) on the three canonical low index Ag surfaces to provide exemplary answers to these questions. Specifically, we employ angular resolved photoemission spectroscopy for a systematic study of the energy level alignments of the two uppermost frontier states in ordered monolayer phases of PTCDA. Data are analysed using the orbital tomography approach. This allows the unambiguous identification of the orbital character of these states, and also the discrimination between inequivalent species. Combining this experimental information with DFT calculations and the generic Newns–Anderson chemisorption model, we analyse the alignments of highest occupied and lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals (HOMO and LUMO) with respect to the vacuum levels of bare and molecule-covered surfaces. This reveals clear differences between the two frontier states. In particular, on all surfaces the LUMO is subject to considerable bond stabilization through the interaction between the molecular π-electron system and the metal, as a consequence of which it also becomes occupied. Moreover, we observe a larger bond stabilization for the more open surfaces. Most importantly, our analysis shows that both the orbital binding energies of the LUMO and the overall adsorption heights of the molecule are linked to the strength of the chemical interaction between the molecular π-electron system and the metal, in the sense that stronger bonding leads to shorter adsorption heights and larger orbital binding energies.
B. Stadtmüller, D. Lüftner, M. Willenbockel, E. M. Reinisch, T. Sueyoshi, G. Koller, S. Soubatch, M. G. Ramsey, P. Puschnig, F. S. Tautz, C. Kumpf
In: Nat. Commun., vol. 5, pp. 3685, 2014.
Although geometric and electronic properties of any physical or chemical system are always mutually coupled by the rules of quantum mechanics, counterintuitive coincidences between the two are sometimes observed. The coadsorption of the organic molecules 3,4,9,10-perylene tetracarboxylic dianhydride and copper-II-phthalocyanine on Ag(111) represents such a case, since geometric and electronic structures appear to be decoupled: one molecule moves away from the substrate while its electronic structure indicates a stronger chemical interaction, and vice versa for the other. Our comprehensive experimental and ab-initio theoretical study reveals that, mediated by the metal surface, both species mutually amplify their charge-donating and -accepting characters, respectively. This resolves the apparent paradox, and demonstrates with exceptional clarity how geometric and electronic bonding parameters are intertwined at metal–organic interfaces.
2014, ISBN: 978-3-95806-018-0.
In this work a surface science study on metal-organic interfaces is presented to resolve their geometric and electronic properties and study the interplay of molecule-molecule and molecule-substrate interactions. The organic molecules benzene, azobenzene, 3,4,9,10-perylenetetracarboxylic acid dianhydride (PTCDA), and terephthalic acid (TPA) are deposited on low index Ag and Cu surfaces to form monolayer and sub-monolayer structures which are investigated by normal incidence X-ray standing waves and angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy, which leads to several surprising findings. Investigating the adsorption of benzene, we find it physisorbed in a flat geometry for benzene on Ag(111). Enhancing the molecule-substrate interaction by exchanging Ag(111) with the stronger interacting Cu(111) is expected to simply lower the adsorption height. However, we find flat molecules at an elevated adsorption height for benzene/Cu(111), which seem to be stabilized via intermolecular interactions due to the coexistence with upright standing benzene molecules. The interplay of molecule-molecule and molecule-substrate interactions is further explored on a metal-organic network formed by codeposition of TPA and Fe atoms on Cu(100). The coordination of TPA molecules by the Fe atoms reduces the TPA-substrate interaction. An additional sitespecific adsorption of oxygen again alters this balance. In case of PTCDA a comprehensive study for its adsorption on low index Ag surfaces is presented. From linking the geometric and electronic stucture properties, it is understood that the electron density spill-out of the surface and its uptake by the adsorbing molecule is a decisive molecule-substrate interaction channel. This explains the finding that the resulting binding energies of the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) as well as the adsorption height of PTCDA on Ag are determined by the work function. Moving to the archetypal molecular switch azobenzene, which is studied on Cu(111), three different azobenzene monolayer phases which are formed along with a coverage dependent dissociation of the molecule are revealed. The higher the density of molecules get, the stronger molecule-molecule interactions become and force the molecule to bend. However, its strong molecule-substrate bond prevents a conformational change and the resulting stress ultimately leads to a dissociation. The surprising results of this work show that the understanding of interactions at metal-organic interfaces is still only rudimentary and stress the importance of further fundamental research.
M. Willenbockel, B. Stadtmüller, K. Schönauer, F. C. Bocquet, D. Lüftner, E. M. Reinisch, T. Ules, G. Koller, C. Kumpf, S. Soubatch, P. Puschnig, M. G. Ramsey, F. S. Tautz
In: New J. Phys., vol. 15, pp. 033017, 2013.
The compressed 3,4,9,10-perylene tetracarboxylic dianhydride (PTCDA) herringbone monolayer structure on Ag(110) is used as a model system to investigate the role of molecule–molecule interactions at metal–organic interfaces. By means of the orbital tomography technique, we can not only distinguish the two inequivalent molecules in the unit cell but also resolve their different energy positions for the highest occupied and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals. Density functional theory calculations of a freestanding PTCDA layer identify the electrostatic interaction between neighboring molecules, rather than the adsorption site, as the main reason for the molecular level splitting observed experimentally.
B. Stadtmüller, M. Willenbockel, E. M. Reinisch, T. Ules, F. C. Bocquet, S. Soubatch, P. Puschnig, G. Koller, M. G. Ramsey, F. S. Tautz, C. Kumpf
Orbital tomography for highly symmetric adsorbate systems Journal Article
In: Europhys. Lett., vol. 100, pp. 26008, 2012.
Orbital tomography is a new and very powerful tool to analyze the angular distribution of a photoemission spectroscopy experiment. It was successfully used for organic adsorbate systems to identify (and consequently deconvolute) the contributions of specific molecular orbitals to the photoemission data. The technique was so far limited to surfaces with low symmetry like fcc(110) oriented surfaces, owing to the small number of rotational domains that occur on such surfaces. In this letter we overcome this limitation and present an orbital tomography study of a 3,4,9,10-perylene-tetra-carboxylic-dianhydride (PTCDA) monolayer film adsorbed on Ag(111). Although this system exhibits twelve differently oriented molecules, the angular resolved photoemission data still allow a meaningful analysis of the different local density of states and reveal different electronic structures for symmetrically inequivalent molecules. We also discuss the precision of the orbital tomography technique in terms of counting statistics and linear regression fitting algorithm. Our results demonstrate that orbital tomography is not limited to low-symmetry surfaces, a finding which makes a broad field of complex adsorbate systems accessible to this powerful technique.