Configuration-Dependent Interface Charge Transfer at a Molecule−Metal Junction

Department of Physics, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117542.
Journal of the American Chemical Society (Impact Factor: 12.11). 07/2006; 128(24):8003-7. DOI: 10.1021/ja061741o
Source: PubMed


The role of the molecule-metal interface is a key issue in molecular electronics. Interface charge transfer processes for 4-fluorobenzenethiol monolayers with different molecular orientations on Au(111) were studied by resonant photoemission spectroscopy. The electrons excited into the LUMO or LUMO+1 are strongly localized for the molecules standing up on Au(111). In contrast, an ultrafast charge transfer process was observed for the molecules lying down on Au(111). This configuration-dependent ultrafast electron transfer is dominated by an adiabatic mechanism and directly reflects the delocalization of the molecular orbitals for molecules lying down on Au(111). Theoretical calculations confirm that the molecular orbitals indeed experience a localization-delocalization transition resulting from hybridization between the molecular orbitals and metal surface. Such an orientation-dependent transition could be harnessed in molecular devices that switch via charge transfer when the molecular orientation is made to change.

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