Thomas Georg BonéPhD Student Karl-Franzens-Universität GrazInstitute of Physics – Surface Science
P. Hurdax, C. S. Kern, T. G. Boné, A. Haags, M. Hollerer, L. Egger, X. Yang, H. Kirschner, A. Gottwald, M. Richter, F. C. Bocquet, S. Soubatch, G. Koller, F. S. Tautz, M. Sterrer, P. Puschnig, M. G. Ramsey
Large Distortion of Fused Aromatics on Dielectric Interlayers Quantified by Photoemission Orbital Tomography Journal Article
In: ACS Nano, vol. 16, pp. 17435-17443, 2022.
Polycyclic aromatic compounds with fused benzene rings offer an extraordinary versatility as next-generation organic semiconducting materials for nanoelectronics and optoelectronics due to their tunable characteristics, including charge-carrier mobility and optical absorption. Nonplanarity can be an additional parameter to customize their electronic and optical properties without changing the aromatic core. In this work, we report a combined experimental and theoretical study in which we directly observe large, geometry-induced modifications in the frontier orbitals of a prototypical dye molecule when adsorbed on an atomically thin dielectric interlayer on a metallic substrate. Experimentally, we employ angle-resolved photoemission experiments, interpreted in the framework of the photoemission orbital tomography technique. We demonstrate its sensitivity to detect geometrical bends in adsorbed molecules and highlight the role of the photon energy used in experiment for detecting such geometrical distortions. Theoretically, we conduct density functional calculations to determine the geometric and electronic structure of the adsorbed molecule and simulate the photoemission angular distribution patterns. While we found an overall good agreement between experimental and theoretical data, our results also unveil limitations in current van der Waals corrected density functional approaches for such organic/dielectric interfaces. Hence, photoemission orbital tomography provides a vital experimental benchmark for such systems. By comparison with the state of the same molecule on a metallic substrate, we also offer an explanation why the adsorption on the dielectric induces such large bends in the molecule.
F. Presel, C. S. Kern, T. G. Boné, F. Schwarz, P. Puschnig, M. G. Ramsey, M. Sterrer
Charge and adsorption height dependence of the self-metalation of porphyrins on ultrathin MgO(001) films Journal Article
In: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., vol. 24, pp. 28540-28547, 2022.
We have experimentally determined the adsorption structure, charge state, and metalation state of porphin, the fundamental building block of porphyrins, on ultrathin Ag(001)-supported MgO(001) films by scanning tunneling microscopy and photoemission spectroscopy, supported by calculations based on density functional theory. By tuning the substrate work function to values below and above the critical work function for charging, we succeeded in the preparation of 2H-P monolayers which contain negatively charged and uncharged molecules. Significantly, it is shown that the porphin molecules self-metalate at room temperature, forming the corresponding Mg-porphin, irrespective of their charge state. This is in contrast to self-metalation of tetraphenyl porphyrin (TPP), which occurs on planar MgO(001) only if the molecules are negatively charged. The different reactivity is explained by the reduced molecule-substrate distance of the planar porphin molecule compared to the bulkier TPP. The results of this study shed light on the mechanism of porphyrin self-metalation on oxides and highlight the role of the adsorption geometry on the chemical reactivity.
T. G. Boné, A. Windischbacher, M. S. Sättele, K. Greulich, L. Egger, T. Jauk, F. Lackner, H. F. Bettinger, H. Peisert, T. Chassé, M. G. Ramsey, M. Sterrer, G. Koller, P. Puschnig
Demonstrating the Impact of the Adsorbate Orientation on the Charge Transfer at Organic-Metal Interfaces Journal Article
In: J. Phys. Chem. C, vol. 125, pp. 9129-9137, 2021.
Charge-transfer processes at molecule–metal interfaces play a key role in tuning the charge injection properties in organic-based devices and thus, ultimately, the device performance. Here, the metal’s work function and the adsorbate’s electron affinity are the key factors that govern the electron transfer at the organic/metal interface. In our combined experimental and theoretical work, we demonstrate that the adsorbate’s orientation may also be decisive for the charge transfer. By thermal cycloreversion of diheptacene isomers, we manage to produce highly oriented monolayers of the rodlike, electron-acceptor molecule heptacene on a Cu(110) surface with molecules oriented either along or perpendicular to the close-packed metal rows. This is confirmed by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) images as well as by angle-resolved ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopy (ARUPS). By utilizing photoemission tomography momentum maps, we show that the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) is fully occupied and also, the LUMO + 1 gets significantly filled when heptacene is oriented along the Cu rows. Conversely, for perpendicularly aligned heptacene, the molecular energy levels are shifted significantly toward the Fermi energy, preventing charge transfer to the LUMO + 1. These findings are fully confirmed by our density functional calculations and demonstrate the possibility to tune the charge transfer and level alignment at organic–metal interfaces through the adjustable molecular alignment.
T. G. Boné
Organic Molecules on Alkali Halide Interlayers - A Characterisation of Energy Levels and Charge Transfer Masters Thesis