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Adsorption-induced pyramidal distortion of the trimetallic nitride core inside the endohedral fullerene Sc 3 N @ C 80 on the Ag(111) surface

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.98.085434 DOI Help

Authors: Johannes Seidel (University of Kaiserslautern) , Leah L. Kelly (University of Kaiserslautern) , Markus Franke (Peter Grünberg Institut (PGI-3), Forschungszentrum Jülich; Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance (JARA)–Fundamentals of Future Information Technology) , G. Van Straaten (Peter Grünberg Institut (PGI-3), Forschungszentrum Jülich; Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance (JARA)–Fundamentals of Future Information Technology) , Christian Kumpf (Peter Grünberg Institut (PGI-3), Forschungszentrum Jülich; Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance (JARA)–Fundamentals of Future Information Technology) , Mirko Cinchetti (Technische Universität Dortmund) , Martin Aeschlimann (University of Kaiserslautern) , Benjamin Stadtmueller (University of Kaiserslautern; Graduate School of Excellence Materials Science in Mainz)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Physical Review B , VOL 98 , PAGES 085434

State: Published (Approved)
Published: August 2018
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 13773

Abstract: Our ability to understand and tailor metal-organic interfaces is mandatory to functionalize organic complexes for next generation electronic and spintronic devices. For magnetic data storage applications, metal-carrying organic molecules, the so-called single molecular magnets (SMM) are of particular interest as they yield the possibility to store information on the molecular scale. In this work, we focus on the adsorption properties of the prototypical SMM Sc3N@C80 grown in a monolayer film on the Ag(111) substrate. We provide clear evidence of a pyramidal distortion of the otherwise planar Sc3N core inside the carbon cage upon the adsorption on the Ag(111) surface. This adsorption-induced structural change of the Sc3N@C80 molecule can be correlated to a charge transfer from the substrate into the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital of Sc3N@C80, which significantly alters the charge density of the fullerene core. Our comprehensive characterization of the Sc3N@C80-Ag(111) interface hence reveals an indirect coupling mechanism between the Sc3N core of the fullerene molecule and the noble metal surface mediated via an interfacial charge transfer. Our work shows that such an indirect coupling between the encapsulated metal centers of SMM and metal surfaces can strongly affect the geometric structure of the metallic centers and thereby potentially also alters the magnetic properties of SMMs on surfaces.

Journal Keywords: Surface & interfacial phenomena; Surface adsorption; Fullerenes; Molecular magnets; Monolayer films; Photoemission spectroscopy; X-ray standing waves

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics


Instruments: I09-Surface and Interface Structural Analysis