Dr. François C. Bocquet (Posseik)Staff scientist Forschungszentrum JülichQuantum Nanoscience (PGI-3)
A. Haags, X. Yang, L. Egger, D. Brandstetter, H. Kirschner, F. C. Bocquet, G. Koller, A. Gottwald, M. Richter, J. M. Gottfried, M. G. Ramsey, P. Puschnig, S. Soubatch, F. S. Tautz
Momentum-space imaging of σ-orbitals for chemical analysis Journal Article
In: Sci. Adv., vol. 8, pp. eabn0819, 2022.
Tracing the modifications of molecules in surface chemical reactions benefits from the possibility to image their orbitals. While delocalized frontier orbitals with π character are imaged routinely with photoemission orbital tomography, they are not always sensitive to local chemical modifications, particularly the making and breaking of bonds at the molecular periphery. For such bonds, σ orbitals would be far more revealing. Here, we show that these orbitals can indeed be imaged in a remarkably broad energy range and that the plane wave approximation, an important ingredient of photoemission orbital tomography, is also well fulfilled for these orbitals. This makes photoemission orbital tomography a unique tool for the detailed analysis of surface chemical reactions. We demonstrate this by identifying the reaction product of a dehalogenation and cyclodehydrogenation reaction.
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.
R. Wallauer, M. Raths, K. Stallberg, L. Münster, D. Brandstetter, X. Yang, J. Güdde, P. Puschnig, S. Soubatch, C. Kumpf, F. C. Bocquet, F. S. Tautz, U. Höfer
Tracing orbital images on ultrafast time scales Journal Article
In: Science, vol. 371, pp. 1056-1059, 2021.
Frontier orbitals determine fundamental molecular properties such as chemical reactivities. Although electron distributions of occupied orbitals can be imaged in momentum space by photoemission tomography, it has so far been impossible to follow the momentum-space dynamics of a molecular orbital in time, for example, through an excitation or a chemical reaction. Here, we combined time-resolved photoemission using high laser harmonics and a momentum microscope to establish a tomographic, femtosecond pump-probe experiment of unoccupied molecular orbitals. We measured the full momentum-space distribution of transiently excited electrons, connecting their excited-state dynamics to real-space excitation pathways. Because in molecules this distribution is closely linked to orbital shapes, our experiment may, in the future, offer the possibility of observing ultrafast electron motion in time and space.