Dr. Xiaosheng YangPhD Student Forschungszentrum JülichQuantum Nanoscience (PGI-3)
A. Haags, X. Yang, L. Egger, D. Brandstetter, H. Kirschner, F. C. Bocquet, G. Koller, A. Gottwald, M. Richter, J. M. Gottfried, M. G. Ramsey, P. Puschnig, S. Soubatch, F. S. Tautz
Momentum-space imaging of σ-orbitals for chemical analysis Journal Article
In: Sci. Adv., vol. 8, pp. eabn0819, 2022.
Tracing the modifications of molecules in surface chemical reactions benefits from the possibility to image their orbitals. While delocalized frontier orbitals with π character are imaged routinely with photoemission orbital tomography, they are not always sensitive to local chemical modifications, particularly the making and breaking of bonds at the molecular periphery. For such bonds, σ orbitals would be far more revealing. Here, we show that these orbitals can indeed be imaged in a remarkably broad energy range and that the plane wave approximation, an important ingredient of photoemission orbital tomography, is also well fulfilled for these orbitals. This makes photoemission orbital tomography a unique tool for the detailed analysis of surface chemical reactions. We demonstrate this by identifying the reaction product of a dehalogenation and cyclodehydrogenation reaction.
X. Yang, M. Jugovac, G. Zamborlini, V. Feyer, G. Koller, P. Puschnig, S. Soubatch, M. G. Ramsey, F. S. Tautz
Momentum-selective orbital hybridization Journal Article
In: Nat. Commun., vol. 13, pp. 5148, 2022.
When a molecule interacts chemically with a metal surface, the orbitals of the molecule hybridise with metal states to form the new eigenstates of the coupled system. Spatial overlap and energy matching are determining parameters of the hybridisation. However, since every molecular orbital does not only have a characteristic spatial shape, but also a specific momentum distribution, one may additionally expect a momentum matching condition; after all, each hybridising wave function of the metal has a defined wave vector, too. Here, we report photoemission orbital tomography measurements of hybrid orbitals that emerge from molecular orbitals at a molecule-on-metal interface. We find that in the hybrid orbitals only those partial waves of the original orbital survive which match the metal band structure. Moreover, we find that the conversion of the metal’s surface state into a hybrid interface state is also governed by momentum matching constraints. Our experiments demonstrate the possibility to measure hybridisation momentum-selectively, thereby enabling deep insights into the complicated interplay of bulk states, surface states, and molecular orbitals in the formation of the electronic interface structure at molecule-on-metal hybrid interfaces.
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
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.
L. Egger, M. Hollerer, C. S. Kern, H. Herrmann, P. Hurdax, A. Haags, X. Yang, A. Gottwald, M. Richter, S. Soubatch, F. S. Tautz, G. Koller, P. Puschnig, M. G. Ramsey, M. Sterrer
In: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., vol. 60, pp. 5078-5082, 2021.
Metalation and self-metalation reactions of porphyrins on oxide surfaces have recently gained interest. The mechanism of porphyrin self-metalation on oxides is, however, far from being understood. Herein, we show by a combination of results obtained with scanning tunneling microscopy, photoemission spectroscopy, and DFT computations, that the self-metalation of 2H-tetraphenylporphyrin on the surface of ultrathin MgO(001) films is promoted by charge transfer. By tuning the work function of the MgO(001)/Ag(001) substrate, we are able to control the charge and the metalation state of the porphyrin molecules on the surface.
R. Wallauer, M. Raths, K. Stallberg, L. Münster, D. Brandstetter, X. Yang, J. Güdde, P. Puschnig, S. Soubatch, C. Kumpf, F. C. Bocquet, F. S. Tautz, U. Höfer
Tracing orbital images on ultrafast time scales Journal Article
In: Science, vol. 371, pp. 1056-1059, 2021.
Frontier orbitals determine fundamental molecular properties such as chemical reactivities. Although electron distributions of occupied orbitals can be imaged in momentum space by photoemission tomography, it has so far been impossible to follow the momentum-space dynamics of a molecular orbital in time, for example, through an excitation or a chemical reaction. Here, we combined time-resolved photoemission using high laser harmonics and a momentum microscope to establish a tomographic, femtosecond pump-probe experiment of unoccupied molecular orbitals. We measured the full momentum-space distribution of transiently excited electrons, connecting their excited-state dynamics to real-space excitation pathways. Because in molecules this distribution is closely linked to orbital shapes, our experiment may, in the future, offer the possibility of observing ultrafast electron motion in time and space.
D. Brandstetter, X. Yang, D. Lüftner, F. S. Tautz, P. Puschnig
In: Comp. Phys. Commun., vol. 263, pp. 107905, 2021.
Ultra-violet photoemission spectroscopy is a widely-used experimental technique to investigate the valence electronic structure of surfaces and interfaces. When detecting the intensity of the emitted electrons not only as a function of their kinetic energy, but also depending on their emission angle, as is done in angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), extremely rich information about the electronic structure of the investigated sample can be extracted. For organic molecules adsorbed as well-oriented ultra-thin films on metallic surfaces, ARPES has evolved into a technique called photoemission tomography (PT). By approximating the final state of the photoemitted electron as a free electron, PT uses the angular dependence of the photocurrent, a so-called momentum map or k-map, and interprets it as the Fourier transform of the initial state’s molecular orbital, thereby gaining insights into the geometric and electronic structure of organic/metal interfaces. In this contribution, we present kMap.py which is a Python program that enables the user, via a PyQt-based graphical user interface, to simulate photoemission momentum maps of molecular orbitals and to perform a one-to-one comparison between simulation and experiment. Based on the plane wave approximation for the final state, simulated momentum maps are computed numerically from a fast Fourier transform (FFT) of real space molecular orbital distributions, which are used as program input and taken from density functional calculations. The program allows the user to vary a number of simulation parameters, such as the final state kinetic energy, the molecular orientation or the polarization state of the incident light field. Moreover, also experimental photoemission data can be loaded into the program, enabling a direct visual comparison as well as an automatic optimization procedure to determine structural parameters of the molecules or weights of molecular orbitals contributions. With an increasing number of experimental groups employing photoemission tomography to study molecular adsorbate layers, we expect kMap.py to serve as a helpful analysis software to further extend the applicability of PT.
2021, ISBN: 978-3-95806-584-0.
Photoemission tomography (PT) is a combined experimental and theoretical technique applied to molecule–metal interfaces which uses angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy over a wide angular range, while the photoelectron angular distributions in reciprocal space (momentum maps, or called k-maps) are interpreted in terms of the molecular orbital structure of the initial state. This thesis uses PT to investigate various aspects of the interaction between π-conjugated organic molecular adsorbates and metal surfaces: PT was successfully used to identify the exact products of chemical reactions at surfaces and their local bonding. The measured k-maps confirm a modification of the orbital structure of dibromo-bianthracene on Cu(110) in the thermal reaction and the fully hydrogenated bisanthene is found to be the correct reaction intermediate. To decouple molecular adsorbates from the metal substrate, PT was employed to gauge whether charge is transferred through the interface. Oxygen adsorbed on the Cu(100) surface immobilizes the surface electrons in the Cu–Ocovalent bonds, thus achieving electronic and physical decoupling of perylene-tetracarboxylic-dianhydride as determined by combined results of PT and normal incidence X-ray standing waves. A special example of an electronically inhomogeneous unary molecular layer on a metal surface is showcased in the saturated monolayer of tetracene on Ag(110). With the help of PT, two highest occupied molecular orbital peaks in the photoemission spectra were found, indicating that two molecular species coexist in the tetracene layer—while one molecule remains neutral, another is charged. Finally, we applied PT to study photoelectron angular distributions for highly-hybridized molecule–metal systems, monolayers of p-sexiphenyl, p-quinquephenyl, and pentacene on Cu(110) and on Ag(110), respectively. In k-maps measured for the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital, PT has identified the scattering of either the Shockley surface states or the states around the projected bulk band gap. The scattering vectors can be directly related to reciprocal lattice vectors of the overlayer structure.
A. Haags, A. Reichmann, Q. Fan, L. Egger, H. Kirschner, T. Naumann, S. Werner, T. Vollgraff, J. Sundermeyer, L. Eschmann, X. Yang, D. Brandstetter, F. C. Bocquet, G. Koller, A. Gottwald, M. Richter, M. G. Ramsey, M. Rohlfing, P. Puschnig, J. M. Gottfried, S. Soubatch, F. S. Tautz
In: ACS Nano, vol. 14, pp. 15766-15775, 2020.
We revisit the question of kekulene’s aromaticity by focusing on the electronic structure of its frontier orbitals as determined by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. To this end, we have developed a specially designed precursor, 1,4,7(2,7)-triphenanthrenacyclononaphane-2,5,8-triene, which allows us to prepare sufficient quantities of kekulene of high purity directly on a Cu(111) surface, as confirmed by scanning tunneling microscopy. Supported by density functional calculations, we determine the orbital structure of kekulene’s highest occupied molecular orbital by photoemission tomography. In agreement with a recent aromaticity assessment of kekulene based solely on C–C bond lengths, we conclude that the π-conjugation of kekulene is better described by the Clar model rather than a superaromatic model. Thus, by exploiting the capabilities of photoemission tomography, we shed light on the question which consequences aromaticity holds for the frontier electronic structure of a π-conjugated molecule.
P. Hurdax, M. Hollerer, L. Egger, G. Koller, X. Yang, A. Haags, S. Soubatch, F. S. Tautz, M. Richter, A. Gottwald, P. Puschnig, M. Sterrer, M. G. Ramsey
In: Beilstein J. Nanotechnol., vol. 11, pp. 1492-1503, 2020.
Ultrathin dielectric/insulating films on metals are often used as decoupling layers to allow for the study of the electronic properties of adsorbed molecules without electronic interference from the underlying metal substrate. However, the presence of such decoupling layers may effectively change the electron donating properties of the substrate, for example, by lowering its work function and thus enhancing the charging of the molecular adsorbate layer through electron tunneling. Here, an experimental study of the charging of para-sexiphenyl (6P) on ultrathin MgO(100) films supported on Ag(100) is reported. By deliberately changing the work function of the MgO(100)/Ag(100) system, it is shown that the charge transfer (electronic coupling) into the 6P molecules can be controlled, and 6P monolayers with uncharged molecules (Schottky–Mott regime) and charged and uncharged molecules (Fermi level pinning regime) can be obtained. Furthermore, it was found that charge transfer and temperature strongly influence the orientation, conformation, and wetting behavior (physical coupling) of the 6P layers on the MgO(100) thin films.
L. Egger, B. Kollmann, P. Hurdax, D. Lüftner, X. Yang, S. Weiß, A. Gottwald, M. Richter, G. Koller, S. Soubatch, F. S. Tautz, P. Puschnig, M. G. Ramsey
In: New J. Phys., vol. 21, pp. 043003, 2019.
Molecular orbital tomography, also termed photoemission tomography, which considers the final state as a simple plane wave, has been very successful in describing the photoemisson distribution of large adsorbates on noble metal surfaces. Here, following a suggestion by Bradshaw and Woodruff (2015 New J. Phys. 17 013033), we consider a small and strongly-interacting system, benzene adsorbed on palladium (110), to consider the extent of the problems that can arise with the final state simplification. Our angle-resolved photoemission experiments, supported by density functional theory calculations, substantiate and refine the previously determined adsorption geometry and reveal an energetic splitting of the frontier π-orbital due to a symmetry breaking which has remained unnoticed before. We find that, despite the small size of benzene and the comparably strong interaction with palladium, the overall appearance of the photoemission angular distributions can basically be understood within a plane wave final state approximation and yields a deeper understanding of the electronic structure of the interface. There are, however, noticeable deviations between measured and simulated angular patterns which we ascribe to molecule-substrate interactions and effects beyond a plane-wave final state description.
X. Yang, L. Egger, P. Hurdax, H. Kaser, D. Lüftner, F. C. Bocquet, G. Koller, A. Gottwald, P. Tegeder, M. Richter, M. G. Ramsey, P. Puschnig, S. Soubatch, F. S. Tautz
In: Nat. Commun., vol. 10, pp. 3189, 2019.
The determination of reaction pathways and the identification of reaction intermediates are key issues in chemistry. Surface reactions are particularly challenging, since many methods of analytical chemistry are inapplicable at surfaces. Recently, atomic force microscopy has been employed to identify surface reaction intermediates. While providing an excellent insight into the molecular backbone structure, atomic force microscopy is less conclusive about the molecular periphery, where adsorbates tend to react with the substrate. Here we show that photoemission tomography is extremely sensitive to the character of the frontier orbitals. Specifically, hydrogen abstraction at the molecular periphery is easily detected, and the precise nature of the reaction intermediates can be determined. This is illustrated with the thermally induced reaction of dibromo-bianthracene to graphene which is shown to proceed via a fully hydrogenated bisanthene intermediate. We anticipate that photoemission tomography will become a powerful companion to other techniques in the study of surface reaction pathways.
X. Yang, L. Egger, J. Fuchsberger, M. Unzog, D. Lüftner, F. Hajek, P. Hurdax, M. Jugovac, G. Zamborlini, V. Feyer, G. Koller, P. Puschnig, F. S. Tautz, M. G. Ramsey, S. Soubatch
In: J. Phys. Chem. Lett., vol. 10, pp. 6438-6445, 2019.
The electronic and geometric structures of tetracene films on Ag(110) and Cu(110) have been studied with photoemission tomography and compared to that of pentacene. Despite similar energy level alignment of the two oligoacenes on these surfaces revealed by conventional ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy, the momentum-space resolved photoemission tomography reveals a significant difference in both structural and electronic properties of tetracene and pentacene films. Particularly, the saturated monolayer of tetracene on Ag(110) is found to consist of two molecular species that, despite having the same orientation, are electronically very different—while one molecule remains neutral, another is charged because of electron donation from the substrate.
X. Yang, I. Krieger, D. Lüftner, S. Weiß, T. Heepenstrick, M. Hollerer, P. Hurdax, G. Koller, M. Sokolowski, P. Puschnig, M. G. Ramsey, F. S. Tautz, S. Soubatch
On the decoupling of molecules at metal surfaces Journal Article
In: Chem. Commun., vol. 54, pp. 9039-9042, 2018.
We report a method to achieve physical and electronic decoupling of organic molecules from a metal surface. Oxygen adsorbed on the Cu(100) surface immobilizes the surface electrons in the Cu–O covalent bonds. This results in electronic surface hardening and prevents charge transfer from the metal into perylene-tetracarboxylic dianhydride molecules subsequently deposited on this surface.
D. Lüftner, S. Weiß, X. Yang, P. Hurdax, V. Feyer, A. Gottwald, G. Koller, S. Soubatch, P. Puschnig, M. G. Ramsey, F. S. Tautz
In: Phys. Rev. B, vol. 96, pp. 125402, 2017.
Photoemission tomography (PT), the analysis of the photoemission intensity distribution within the plane wave final-state approximation, is being established as a useful tool for extracting the electronic and geometric structure of weakly interacting organic overlayers. Here we present a simple method for extending PT, which until now has been based on the calculations of isolated molecules. By including the substrate and a damped plane-wave final state, we are able to simulate the photoemission intensity distribution of two-dimensional molecular overlayers with both strong intermolecular and molecule-substrate interactions, here demonstrated for the model system 3,4,9,10-perylene-tetracarboxylic dianhydride (PTCDA) on Cu(100). It is shown that the interaction and hybridization of the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital of PTCDA with substrate states leads to its occupation and the formation of a strongly dispersing intermolecular band, whose experimental magnitude of 1.1 eV and k-space periodicity is well reproduced theoretically.