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Directionality in van der Waals interactions: the case of 4-acetylbiphenyl adsorbed on Au(111)

AuthorsZobač, Vladimír; Robles, Roberto ; Lorente, Nicolás
Issue Date2020
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
CitationJournal of Physical Chemistry C 124(8): 4545-4551 (2020)
AbstractWe report on a theoretical study of adsorption of 4-acetylbiphenyl molecule and its diffusion properties in the main directions of the Au(111) surface. Structural changes of the molecule, which are induced by adsorption, lead to stronger conjugation of the π-system. The molecule is adsorbed in a flat configuration on the surface with roughly the same binding energy along the [11̅0] and [112̅] directions, in good agreement with experiments. Furthermore, the diffusion barriers imply an important directionality of the molecule–surface interactions. This is somewhat surprising because our calculations show that the prevailing interaction is the long-range molecule–surface van der Waals interaction. Despite its weakness, the van der Waals interaction discriminates the preferential adsorption sites as well as imposes a molecular geometry that needs to be considered when rationalizing the diffusion barriers.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b09599
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