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Porphyrins - Molecular All-Rounders Show Unexpected Charge Transfer

Jülich/Graz/Trieste, 25 August 2017 – Porphyrins play an important role in many biological systems. They are involved in oxygen transport in the human body and also in photosynthesis. At the same time, the organic molecule is regarded as a promising candidate for a wide range of technical applications. Porphyrins are extremely versatile molecules, which enable a variety of electronic, magnetic, and conformational properties to be tailored. Scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich, the Universities of Graz and Trieste, and the Elettra synchrotron in Trieste used state-of-the art theoretical and experimental techniques to describe in detail the NiTPP/Cu(100) interface where an unexpected charge transfer involving the organic molecule and metal substrate was observed. Their findings will contribute to the design of future organic solar cells and molecular switches.

Multi-orbital charge transferProposed adsorption model for Ni-TPP/Cu(100)
Copyright: Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz

The molecule-substrate interaction plays a key role in electronic devices based on organic compounds. Additionally, the charge transfer at molecule-metal interfaces strongly affects the overall physical and magnetic properties of the system, and ultimately device performance. Combining multiple surface science techniques, such as STM and photoemission tomography, with ab initio DFT calculations, the authors developed a consistent picture of the adsorption behaviour of NiTPP on Cu(100) and clarified the electronic structure of this organic/metal interface. Using a method developed in recent years at Graz and Jülich, they also succeeded in determining the energy position and the spatial structure of individual molecular orbitals in detail.

Original publication:

G. Zamborlini, D. Lüftner, Zh. Feng, B. Kollmann, P. Puschnig, C. Dri, M. Panighel G. Di Santo, A. Goldoni, G. Comelli, M. Jugovac, V. Feyer, and C. M. Schneider, Multi-orbital charge transfer at highly oriented organic/metal interfaces, Nature Communications (2017), DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00402-0.

Further information:

Full version (PGI-6)

Press release from the University of Graz of 25 August 2017 (in German) “Molekulare Alleskönner”


Dr. Vitaliy Feyer
Peter Grünberg Institute (PGI-6), Forschungszentrum Jüulich GmbH,
D-52425 Jülich,
Tel: +39 040375-8302/8738

Assoz.-Prof. Dr. Peter Puschnig
Department of Physics, University of Graz
Tel: +43 316 380 -5230

Prof. Dr. Claus M. Schneider
Peter Grünberg Institute (PGI-6), Forschungszentrum Jülich
Tel: +49 2461 61-4428

Press contact:

Tobias Schlößer
Corporate Communications, Forschungszentrum Jülich
Tel: +49 2461 61 -4771