Adsorption and switching properties of a N -benzylideneaniline based molecular switch on a Au(111) surface

László Óvári, Ying Luo, Felix Leyssner, Rainer Haag, Martin Wolf, Petra Tegeder

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High resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy has been employed to analyze the adsorption geometry and the photoisomerization ability of the molecular switch carboxy-benzylideneaniline (CBA) adsorbed on Au(111). CBA on Au(111) adopts a planar (trans) configuration in the first monolayer (ML) as well as for higher coverages (up to 6 ML), in contrast to the strongly nonplanar geometry of the molecule in solution. Illumination with UV light of CBA in direct contact with the Au(111) surface (<1 ML) caused no changes in the vibrational structure, whereas at higher coverages (≤1 ML) pronounced modifications of vibrational features were observed, which we assign to a trans→cis isomerization. Thermal activation induced the back reaction to trans-CBA. We propose that the photoisomerization is driven by a direct (intramolecular) electronic excitation of the adsorbed CBA molecules in the second ML (and above) analogous to CBA in the liquid phase.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044707
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 28 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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