Christian KernPhD Student Karl-Franzens-Universität GrazInstitute of Physics – Solid State Theory
C. S. Kern, A. Windischbacher, P. Puschnig
In: Phys. Rev. B, vol. 108, pp. 085132, 2023.
Driven by recent developments in time-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, we extend the successful method of photoemission orbital tomography (POT) to excitons. Our theory retains the intuitive orbital picture of POT, while respecting both the entangled character of the exciton wave function and the energy conservation in the photoemission process. Analyzing results from three organic molecules, we classify generic exciton structures and give a simple interpretation in terms of natural transition orbitals. We validate our findings by directly simulating pump-probe experiments with time-dependent density functional theory.
P. Hurdax, C. S. Kern, T. G. Boné, A. Haags, M. Hollerer, L. Egger, X. Yang, H. Kirschner, A. Gottwald, M. Richter, F. C. Bocquet, S. Soubatch, G. Koller, F. S. Tautz, M. Sterrer, P. Puschnig, M. G. Ramsey
In: ACS Nano, vol. 16, pp. 17435-17443, 2022.
Polycyclic aromatic compounds with fused benzene rings offer an extraordinary versatility as next-generation organic semiconducting materials for nanoelectronics and optoelectronics due to their tunable characteristics, including charge-carrier mobility and optical absorption. Nonplanarity can be an additional parameter to customize their electronic and optical properties without changing the aromatic core. In this work, we report a combined experimental and theoretical study in which we directly observe large, geometry-induced modifications in the frontier orbitals of a prototypical dye molecule when adsorbed on an atomically thin dielectric interlayer on a metallic substrate. Experimentally, we employ angle-resolved photoemission experiments, interpreted in the framework of the photoemission orbital tomography technique. We demonstrate its sensitivity to detect geometrical bends in adsorbed molecules and highlight the role of the photon energy used in experiment for detecting such geometrical distortions. Theoretically, we conduct density functional calculations to determine the geometric and electronic structure of the adsorbed molecule and simulate the photoemission angular distribution patterns. While we found an overall good agreement between experimental and theoretical data, our results also unveil limitations in current van der Waals corrected density functional approaches for such organic/dielectric interfaces. Hence, photoemission orbital tomography provides a vital experimental benchmark for such systems. By comparison with the state of the same molecule on a metallic substrate, we also offer an explanation why the adsorption on the dielectric induces such large bends in the molecule.