Electronic properties of biphenylthiolates on Au(111): The impact of coverage revisited

Elisabeth Verwüster, Oliver T. Hofmann, David A. Egger, Egbert Zojer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We study the impact of coverage on the electronic structure of substituted biphenylthiolate-based self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on Au(111) surfaces with a particular focus on SAM-induced work-function changes, Δφ. This is done using density functional theory accounting also for van der Waals interactions. We find that the tilt angle of the molecules increases significantly when reducing the coverage, which results in a marked decrease of the perpendicular component of the molecular dipole moment. However, Δφ does not follow the trend that one would expect on purely geometrical grounds. While for donor-substituted SAMs, Δφ decreases much more slowly than anticipated, for acceptor-substituted SAMs the coverage-induced reduction of Δφ is clearly more pronounced than expected. In fact, in that case Δφ already vanishes around half coverage. This is in part associated with the (coverage-dependent) bond dipole originating from the "Au-S-C" bond. Especially for low coverages, however, the relevance of the "Au-S-C" dipole diminishes, and we observe a significant contribution of Pauli-Pushback (also known as "cushion effect") to the interfacial charge rearrangements, an effect that hitherto received only minor attention in the discussion of covalently bonded SAMs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7817-7825
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number14
StatePublished - 9 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Electronic properties of biphenylthiolates on Au(111): The impact of coverage revisited'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this