Electronic structure and bonding of an ionic molecular adsorbate: C-C 5H5 on Cu{111}

M. Sacchi, S. J. Jenkins, H. Hedgeland, A. P. Jardine, B. J. Hinch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Self-assembled monolayers containing conjugated π systems find application in organic electronics to functionalize and modify the electronic properties of metals and metal oxides. Isolated cyclopentadienyl is an aromatic molecular anion similar in size to benzene that, unlike benzene, adsorbs quite strongly even on coinage metal surfaces. In this study, the electronic structure, bonding, and minimum energy configuration of cyclopentadienyl (c-C5H5 or Cp) adsorbed on Cu{111} are calculated via first-principles density functional theory (DFT). The Cu{111} surface has been modeled within a (2√3 - 2√3)R30° cell, and the adsorbed Cp has been found to reside preferentially on the hollow sites, with a binding energy of 1.73 eV. Electronic population analysis reveals a net charge transfer of ∼1.1 electrons from the metal to the Cp, indicating that the adsorption is dominated by ionic bonding. The surface diffusion barrier between two adjacent hollow sites was calculated to be 55 meV, in good agreement with previously reported measurements by helium spin echo (HeSE) spectroscopy. It was found that lateral interactions do not significantly influence the binding energy and mobility of the adsorbate. The physical-chemical properties of this strongly bound but weakly mutually interacting molecular adsorbate suggest that Cp could become a model system for ionically adsorbed molecular adsorbates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16134-16141
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 18 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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