Electronic and structural properties of oligophenylene ethynylenes on Au(111) surfaces

Miao, Ling; Seminario, Jorge M.
May 2007
Journal of Chemical Physics;5/14/2007, Vol. 126 Issue 18, p184706
Academic Journal
The interaction of oligophenylene ethynylene (OPE) on the (111) surface of a gold slab resembling a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) is investigated using ab initio density functional theory calculations. The authors performed a full optimization including all atoms in the OPE and in the slab to better understand OPE adsorption on the surface. It is found that OPE has two energetically favorable adsorption sites on the Au surface with relatively different molecular geometries: the nontop site adsorption greatly modifies the (111) surface structure; however, the extensive electron interactions enable a delocalized electron density distribution, implying an improved conductivity between OPE and Au, and the top site which is 0.9 eV higher in energy than the nontop and features weaker Au–S bonds. Interestingly the on top configuration shows a strong spin imbalance along the molecule and the nontop shows a small spin imbalance on the surface. This feature is of strong interest for the development of resonators for the detection of chemical and biological agents. They have also calculated the frequency spectrum of these SAMs, which yield deformations in the gold surface yielding peak frequency shifts specific to each absorption site.


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