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Density functional theoretical study of pentacene/noble metal interfaces with van der Waals corrections: vacuum level shifts and electronic structures

Density functional theoretical study of pentacene/noble metal interfaces with van der Waals corrections: vacuum level shifts and electronic structures

Journal of Chemical Physics 132(13): 134703

In order to clarify factors determining the interface dipole, we have studied the electronic structures of pentacene adsorbed on Cu(111), Ag(111), and Au(111) by using first-principles density functional theoretical calculations. In the structural optimization, a semiempirical van der Waals (vdW) approach [S. Grimme, J. Comput. Chem. 27, 1787 (2006)] is employed to include long-range vdW interactions and is shown to reproduce pentacene-metal distances quite accurately. The pentacene-metal distances for Cu, Ag, and Au are evaluated to be 0.24, 0.29, and 0.32 nm, respectively, and work function changes calculated by using the theoretically optimized adsorption geometries are in good agreement with the experimental values, indicating the validity of the present approach in the prediction of the interface dipole at metal/organic interfaces. We examined systematically how the geometric factors, especially the pentacene-substrate distance (Z(C)), and the electronic properties of the metal substrates contribute to the interface dipole. We found that at Z(C) > or = 0.35 nm, the work function changes (Delta phi's) do not depend on the substrate work function (phi(m)), indicating that the interface level alignment is nearly in the Schottky limit, whereas at Z(C) < or = 0.25 nm, Delta phi's vary nearly linearly with phi(m), and the interface level alignment is in the Bardeen limit. Our results indicate the importance of both the geometric and the electronic factors in predicting the interface dipoles. The calculated electronic structure shows that on Au, the long-range vdW interaction dominates the pentacene-substrate interaction, whereas on Cu and Ag, the chemical hybridization contributes to the interaction.

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Accession: 052486481

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PMID: 20387950

DOI: 10.1063/1.3373389

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