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A Case of Unusually Large Density of States Changes For Physisorption - TetraPhenyl-Porphyrins on Cu(111)
School of Chemistry, University of Bath.
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham.
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham.
Department of Physics and Energy, Materials and Surface Science Institute, University of Limerick.
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2015 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Conformational changes caused by surface adsorption can dramatically affect a molecule’s properties. The conformational flexibility of the porphyrin family of molecules has been exploited particularly well in a number of contexts, including prototypical molecular switches. Despite this level of study, however, the exact mechanisms underpinning conformational switching are often unclear. We show that the conformation of the tetra(4-bromophenyl) porphyrin (Br4TPP) on Cu(111) depends critically on the precise adsorption site of the molecule, and that, remarkably, large conformational changes are driven entirely by van der Waals (vdW) interactions between the molecule and the substrate surface. A combination of scanning probe microscopy, low temperature single molecule manipulation, dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations shows that van der Waals forces dominate the adsorption of TPP molecules, causing significant distortions of the molecular architecture so that the porphyrin can adopt one of two low energy conformations. In addition, scanning probe manipulation has been used to translate and switch the Br4TPP molecule between conformations via an intermediary, ‘hybrid’ structure. We have used the generalized gradient approximation (GGA) parameterization by Perdew—Burke—Ernzerhof (PBE), and the sparse-matter optBP86b-vdW20 (vdW-DFT) exchange and correlation functional to account for the missing dispersion forces. In order to check for the presence of chemical bonding we have analyzed the molecule-surface complexes using electron localization function (ELF) and Bader charges. We find that vdW-forces alone are capable of causing large shifts in the molecular density of states, despite the complete absence of chemical interactions.

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Tillämpad fysik
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-38115Local ID: c669215a-709a-48fa-8f48-5a8dbaaf8657OAI: diva2:1011614
Towards Reality in Nanoscale Materials : 09/02/2015 - 11/02/2015
Godkänd; 2015; 20150219 (landar)Available from: 2016-10-03 Created: 2016-10-03Bibliographically approved

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