Adsorption configurations of Co-phthalocyanine on In2O3(111)

M. Wagner, F. Calcinelli, A. Jeindl, M. Schmid, O. T. Hofmann, U. Diebold

Institut für Angewandte Physik, TU Wien, 1040 Wien, Austria
Institute of Solid State Physics, NAWI Graz, Graz University of Technology, Graz 8010, Austria

Surf. Sci. 722 (2022) 122065

Indium oxide offers optical transparency paired with electrical conductivity, a combination required in many optoelectronic applications. The most-stable In2O3(111) surface has a large unit cell (1.43 nm lattice constant). It contains a mixture of both bulk-like and undercoordinated O and In atoms and provides an ideal playground to explore the interaction of surfaces with organic molecules of similar size as the unit cell. Non-contact atomic force microscopy (nc-AFM), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), and density functional theory (DFT) were used to study the adsorption of Co-phthalocyanine (CoPc) on In2O3(111). Isolated CoPc molecules adsorb at two adsorption sites in a ~7:3 ratio. The Co atom sits either on top of a surface oxygen ('F configuration') or indium atom ('S configuration'). This subtle change in adsorption site induces different bending of the molecules and differences in their electronic structure. According to DFT, the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital of the undistorted gas-phase CoPc remains mostly unaffected in the F configuration but is filled by one electron in S configuration. At coverages up to one CoPc molecule per substrate unit cell, a mixture of domains with molecules in F and S configuration are found. Molecules in F configuration first condense into a poorly ordered F-(2 × 2) structure and finally rearrange into an F-(1 × 1) structure in which the molecules partially overlap. The only ordered structure of molecules adsorbed in S configuration is an S-(1 × 1) superstructure at full monolayer coverage.

Corresponding author: Margareta Wagner (wagner at iap_tuwien_ac_at).

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