Role of backbone charge rearrangement in the bond-dipole and work function of molecular monolayers

Tali Aqua, Hagai Cohen, Ofer Sinai, Veronica Frydman, Tatyana Bendikov, Dana Krepel, Oded Hod, Leeor Kronik, Ron Naaman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Self-assembled organic monolayers serve for modifying the work function of inorganic substrates. We examine the role of the molecular backbone in determining monolayer-adsorbed work function, by considering the adsorption of dithiols with either a partially conjugated or a saturated backbone on the GaAs(001) surface. Using a combination of chemically resolved electrical measurements based on X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy and contact potential difference, together with first principles electronic structure calculations, we are able to distinguish quantitatively between the contributions of the band bending and surface dipole components. We find that the substrates coated by partially conjugated layers possess a larger band-bending, relative to that of the substrates coated by saturated layers. This is associated with an increased density of surface states, likely related to the presence of oxygen. At the same time, the samples coated by partially conjugated layers also possess a larger bond-dipole, with the difference found to result primarily from an extended charge rearrangement on the molecular backbone. The two effects are, in this case, of opposite sign, but a significant net change in work function is still found. Thus, design of the molecular backbone emerges as an additional and important degree of freedom in the design of potential profiles and charge injection barriers in monolayer-based structures and devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24888-24892
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number50
StatePublished - 22 Dec 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of backbone charge rearrangement in the bond-dipole and work function of molecular monolayers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this