Klein, BP, Morbec, JM, Franke, M, Greulich, KK, Sachs, M, Parhizkar, S, Bocquet, FC, Schmid, M, Hall, SJ, Maurer, RJ, Meyer, B, Tonner, R, Kumpf, C, Kratzer, P and Gottfried, JM (2019) The Molecule-Metal Bond of Alternant versus Nonalternant Aromatic Systems on Coinage Metal Surfaces: Naphthalene versus Azulene on Ag(111) and Cu(111). The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 123 (48). pp. 29219-29230. ISSN 1932-7447

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Interfaces between polycyclic π-electron systems and metals play prominent roles in organic or graphene-based (opto)electronic devices, in which performance-related parameters depend critically on the properties of metal/semiconductor contacts. Here, we explore how the topology of the π-electron system influences the bonding and the electronic properties of the interface. We use azulene as a model for nonalternant pentagon-heptagon (5-7) ring pairs and compare it to its isomer naphthalene, which represents the alternant 6-6 ring pair. Their coverage-dependent interaction with Ag(111) and Cu(111) surfaces was studied with the normal-incidence X-ray standing wave (NIXSW) technique, near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy, UV and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS, XPS), and density functional theory (DFT). Coverage-dependent adsorption heights and spectroscopic data reveal that azulene forms shorter interfacial bonds than naphthalene and engages in stronger electronic interactions with both surfaces. These differences are more pronounced on Cu. Increasing coverages lead to larger adsorption heights, indicating bond weakening by intermolecular repulsion. The extensive DFT calculations include dispersive interactions using: (1) the DFT-D3 scheme, (2) the vdWsurf correction based on DFT-TS, (3) a Many-Body Dispersion (MBD) correction scheme, and (4) the D3surf scheme. All methods predict the adsorption heights reasonably well with an average error below 0.1 Å. The stronger bond of azulene is attributed to its nonalternant topology, which results in a reduced HOMO-LUMO gap and brings the LUMO energetically close to the Fermi energy of the metal, causing stronger hybridization with electronic states of the metal surfaces.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via ACS at https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b08824 - Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2019 12:37
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2020 01:30
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/7157

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