Self-terminating protocol for an interfacial complexation reaction in vacuo by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition

Anthoula C. Papageorgiou, Sybille Fischer, Seung Cheol Oh, Özge Saǧlam, Joachim Reichert, Alissa Wiengarten, Knud Seufert, Saranyan Vijayaraghavan, David Écija, Willi Auwärter, Francesco Allegretti, Robert G. Acres, Kevin C. Prince, Katharina Diller, Florian Klappenberger, Johannes V. Barth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The fabrication and control of coordination compounds or architectures at well-defined interfaces is a thriving research domain with promise for various research areas, including single-site catalysis, molecular magnetism, light-harvesting, and molecular rotors and machines. To date, such systems have been realized either by grafting or depositing prefabricated metal-organic complexes or by protocols combining molecular linkers and single metal atoms at the interface. Here we report a different pathway employing metal-organic chemical vapor deposition, as exemplified by the reaction of meso-tetraphenylporphyrin derivatives on atomistically clean Ag(111) with a metal carbonyl precursor (Ru3(CO)12) under vacuum conditions. Scanning tunneling microscopy and X-ray spectroscopy reveal the formation of a meso-tetraphenylporphyrin cyclodehydrogenation product that readily undergoes metalation after exposure to the Ru-carbonyl precursor vapor and thermal treatment. The self-terminating porphyrin metalation protocol proceeds without additional surface-bound byproducts, yielding a single and thermally robust layer of Ru metalloporphyrins. The introduced fabrication scheme presents a new approach toward the realization of complex metal-organic interfaces incorporating metal centers in unique coordination environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4520-4526
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number5
StatePublished - 28 May 2013


  • chemical vapor deposition
  • interfaces
  • monolayers
  • porphyrins
  • silver surface
  • surface chemistry


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