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See detailNonadditivity of the Adsorption Energies of Linear Acenes on Au(111): Molecular Anisotropy and Many-Body Effects
Maass, Friedrich; Ajdari, Mohsen; Cheenicode Kabeer, Fairoja et al

in Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters (2019), 10

Adsorption energies of chemisorbed molecules on inorganic solids usually scale linearly with molecular size and are well described by additive scaling laws. However, much less is known about scaling laws ... [more ▼]

Adsorption energies of chemisorbed molecules on inorganic solids usually scale linearly with molecular size and are well described by additive scaling laws. However, much less is known about scaling laws for physisorbed molecules. Our temperature-programmed desorption experiments demonstrate that the adsorption energy of acenes (benzene to pentacene) on the Au(111) surface in the limit of low coverage is highly nonadditive with respect to the molecular size. For pentacene, the deviation from an additive scaling of the adsorption energy amounts to as much as 0.7 eV. Our first-principles calculations explain the observed nonadditive behavior in terms of anisotropy of molecular polarization stemming from many-body electronic correlations. The observed nonadditivity of the adsorption energy has implications for surface-mediated intermolecular interactions and the ensuing on-surface self-assembly. Thus, future coverage-dependent studies should aim to gain insights into the impact of these complex interactions on the self-assembly of π-conjugated organic molecules on metal surfaces. [less ▲]

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See detailBinding energies of benzene on coinage metal surfaces: Equal stability on different metals
Maaß, Friedrich; Jiang, Yingda; Liu, Wei et al

in Journal of Chemical Physics (2018), 148

Interfaces between organic molecules and inorganic solids adapt a prominent role in fundamental science, catalysis, molecular sensors, and molecular electronics. The molecular adsorption geometry, which ... [more ▼]

Interfaces between organic molecules and inorganic solids adapt a prominent role in fundamental science, catalysis, molecular sensors, and molecular electronics. The molecular adsorption geometry, which is dictated by the strength of lateral and vertical interactions, determines the electronic structure of the molecule/substrate system. In this study, we investigate the binding properties of benzene on the noble metal surfaces Au(111), Ag(111), and Cu(111), respectively, using temperature-programmed desorption and first-principles calculations that account for non-locality of both electronic exchange and correlation effects. In the monolayer regime, we observed for all three systems a decrease of the binding energy with increasing coverage due to repulsive adsorbate/adsorbate interactions. Although the electronic properties of the noble metal surfaces are rather different, the binding strength of benzene on these surfaces is equal within the experimental error (accuracy of 0.05 eV), in excellent agreement with our calculations. This points toward the existence of a universal trend for the binding energy of aromatic molecules resulting from a subtle balance between Pauli repulsion and many-body van der Waals attraction. [less ▲]

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See detailQuantitative Prediction of Molecular Adsorption: Structure and Binding of Benzene on Coinage Metals
Liu, Wei; Maass, Friedrich; Willenbockel, Martin et al

in PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS (2015), 115(3),

Interfaces between organic molecules and solid surfaces play a prominent role in heterogeneous catalysis, molecular sensors and switches light-emitting diodes, and photovoltaics. The properties and the ... [more ▼]

Interfaces between organic molecules and solid surfaces play a prominent role in heterogeneous catalysis, molecular sensors and switches light-emitting diodes, and photovoltaics. The properties and the ensuing function of such hybrid interfaces often depend exponentially on molecular adsorption heights and binding strengths, calling for well-established benchmarks of these two quantities. Here we present systematic measurements that enable us to quantify the interaction of benzene with the Ag(111) coinage metal substrate with unprecedented accuracy (0.02 angstrom in the vertical adsorption height and 0.05 eV in the binding strength) by means of normal-incidence x-ray standing waves and temperature-programed desorption techniques. Based on these accurate experimental benchmarks for a prototypical molecule-solid interface, we demonstrate that recently developed first-principles calculations that explicitly account for the nonlocality of electronic exchange and correlation effects are able to determine the structure and stability of benzene on the Ag(111) surface within experimental error bars. Remarkably, such precise experiments and calculations demonstrate that despite different electronic properties of copper, silver, and gold, the binding strength of benzene is equal on the (111) surface of these three coinage metals. Our results suggest the existence of universal binding energy trends for aromatic molecules on surfaces. [less ▲]

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