Physical chemistry of surface-confined metal-organic complexes

DIPC Seminars

Sebastian Stepanow, Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC).Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal, 4 (nearby the Facultad de Quimica), Donostia
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Physical chemistry of surface-confined metal-organic complexes Surfaces and interfaces are of paramount importance in a broad area of science and technology ranging from heterogeneous catalysis, sensing applications, bio-interfaces, electronics, solar-energy converters, electrodes in fuel cells and electrocatalysis. The specific functionalization of surfaces has hence become an intensive research topic over the recent years. In general, supramolecular chemistry provides a versatile toolbox for the design and incorporation of functional units onto well-defined surfaces. Moreover, the directed self-assembly of organic ligands and metal atoms at surfaces has attracted great interest, since the adlayers can be designed taking into account both functionalities of the interface: the adlayer’s constituents as well as the support itself. This view of the interface as a hybrid material can bring in new properties that cannot be achieved in the separated systems creating diverse functions spanning from surface pattering, localized magnetic moments, selective receptor sites, catalytic reaction centers and the general control of the interface electronic structure. The self-assembly of metal complexes at surfaces results in unique coordination numbers and geometries, where the physicochemical properties are to a great extend yet unexplored. Here, we report examples of recent investigations of long-range ordered metal-organic networks and their electronic properties studied by scanning tunneling microscopy, x-ray absorption spectroscopy and density functional theory based calculations. The results provide detailed insight into the local properties of the metal centers and organic ligands, as well as their coupling with the environment. The local inter-adsorbate bonding and hybridization of the constituents with the underlying surface leads to a particular hybrid electronic structure of the complexes that can be exploited to design novel functional materials.