Reversible changes in the vibrational structure of tetra-tert- butylazobenzene on a Au(111) surface induced by light and thermal activation

László Óvári, Martin Wolf, Petra Tegeder

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High-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy (HREELS) is employed to analyze reversible changes in the geometrical structure of the molecular switch tetra-tert-butylazobenzene (TBA) adsorbed on Au(111), which are induced by UV-light and thermal activation. In the submonolayer regime, TBA adsorbs in the planar trans configuration. UV-light exposure at 3.5 eV leads to pronounced changes in the vibrational structure of the TBA molecules in direct contact with the Au(111) surface, which we assign to a trans to cis isomerization. The reverse process, that is, the cis to trans isomerization, can be stimulated by thermal activation. An intensity decrease of vibrational modes as a function of photon dose allows calculation of an effective cross section of σeff ≈ 2 × 10-21 cm2 for the trans to cis isomerization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15370-15374
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - Oct 25 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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