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Benzene adsorption on Rh(111): a new perspective on intermolecular interactions and molecular ordering

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Author(s)

Michael-John Treanor, Jose Antonio Garrido Torres, Catherine J. Bromley, Herbert A Fruchtl, Renald Schaub

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Abstract

The adsorption of benzene on the Rh(111) substrate was investigated through scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) imaging and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Experiments were carried out at various surface coverages, with the amount of benzene adsorbed determined to influence the molecular adsorption site, the intermolecular interactions, and the interaction between the molecule and the substrate. At a sub-monolayer coverage of the surface, the molecules are disordered and kept apart by a strong inter-adsorbate repulsion, with a preference for the molecule to adsorb on a three-fold hcp hollow site. At high coverage, the preferred adsorption site becomes the two-fold symmetric bridge site, whether as part of the two dense ordered structures that form at high coverage ((2√3×3)rect or (√19×√19)R23.4°) or as part of the disordered array of benzene molecules, which are arranged in formations which resemble the “building blocks” of the ordered overlayers. Despite the adsorption energy for benzene within both dense structures being similar, the (√19×√19)R23.4° overlayer is only observed if the substrate is annealed to 363 K during or after deposition, indicating that the formation of the (√19×√19)R23.4° ordering is inhibited by an activation barrier at lower temperatures and can only be overcome by increasing the temperature of the Rh(111) support.
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11890-11904
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Volume122
Issue number22
Early online date7 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2018

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