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Title: Thermodynamic Control of Two-Dimensional Molecular Ionic Nanostructures on Metal Surfaces

Bulk molecular ionic solids exhibit fascinating electronic properties, including electron correlations, phase transitions and superconducting ground states. In contrast, few of these phenomena have so far been observed in low-dimensional molecular structures, including thin films, nanoparticles and molecular blends, not in the least because most of such structures have so far been composed of nearly closed-shell molecules. It is therefore desirable to develop low-dimensional molecular structures of ionic molecules toward fundamental studies and potential applications. Here we present detailed analysis of monolayer-thick structures of the canonical TTF-TCNQ (tetrathiafulvalene 7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane) system grown on low-index gold and silver surfaces. The most distinctive property of the epitaxial growth is the wide abundance of stable TTF/TCNQ ratios, in sharp contrast to the predominance of 1:1 ratio in the bulk. We propose the existence of the surface phase-diagram that controls the structures of TTF-TCNQ on the surfaces, and demonstrate phase-transitions that occur upon progressively increasing the density of TCNQ while keeping the surface coverage of TTF fixed. Based on direct observations, we propose the binding motif behind the stable phases and infer the dominant interactions that enable the existence of the rich spectrum of surface structures. Finally, we also show that the surface phase diagrammore » will control the epitaxy beyond monolayer coverage. Multiplicity of stable surface structures, the corollary rich phase diagram and the corresponding phase-transitions present an interesting opportunity for low-dimensional molecular systems, particularly if some of the electronic properties of the bulk can be preserved or modified in the surface phases.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Science (CNMS)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Science (CNMS); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Computer Science & Mathematics Division
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Nano
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 1936-0851
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; charge transfer complex; density functional theory; electrostatics; molecular ion; phase diagram; scanning tunneling microscopy; self-assembly
OSTI Identifier: