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X-ray standing wave studies of molecular adsorption: why coherent fractions matter

DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/abc63a DOI Help

Authors: D. P. Woodruff (University of Warwick) , D. A. Duncan (Diamond Light Source)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: New Journal Of Physics , VOL 22

State: Published (Approved)
Published: November 2020

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: The normal incidence x-ray standing wave (NIXSW) technique is the primary source of quantitative experimental information on the adsorption height of many near-planar molecules on metal surfaces, of relevance to organic electronics. The technique yields two structural parameters, the coherent position and the coherent fraction. For high values of the coherent fraction the coherent position can be related directly to the adsorption height, but because the coherent fraction is effectively an order parameter, low values of this parameter are often attributed to partial disorder. It is certainly true that in depositing these large molecules on a surface it is very challenging to produce a perfectly ordered surface. However, is the type of disorder that is likely to occur able to account for no other effect on measured NIXSW data than a lowering of the coherent fraction? Here we show, by considering a wide range of possible types of 'disorder', that in almost all such situations it is improbable that the coherent positions associated with very low coherent fractions actually provide a reliable measure of the adsorption height of the ordered component, as is often assumed to be the case. As such, presentations of NIXSW data that only consider coherent position values are likely to be extremely misleading, and provide an unreliable benchmark for detailed understanding of these interfaces.

Subject Areas: Physics, Technique Development


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Added On: 02/12/2020 14:06

Documents:
Woodruff_2020_New_J._Phys._22_113012.pdf

Discipline Tags:

Molecular Physics Physics Technique Development - Physics Chemistry

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