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Bis(triisopropylsilylethynyl)pentacene/Au(111) Interface: Coupling, Molecular Orientation, and Thermal Stability

Gnoli, Andrea
Toffoli, Hande
Yu, Liyang
Catone, Daniele
Turchini, Stefano
Lizzit, Silvano
Stingelin, Natalie
Larciprete, Rosanna
The assembly and the orientation of functionalized pentacene at the interface with inorganics strongly influence both the electric contact and the charge transport in organic electronic devices. In this study electronic spectroscopies and theoretical modeling are combined to investigate the properties of the bis(triisopropylsilylethynyl)pentacene (TIPS-Pc)/Au(111) interface as a function of the molecular coverage to compare the molecular state in the gas phase and in the adsorbed phase and to determine the thermal stability of TIPS-Pc in contact with gold. Our results show that in the free molecule only the acene atoms directly bonded to the ligands are affected by the functionalization. Adsorption on Au(111) leads to a weak coupling which causes only modest binding energy shifts in the TIPS-Pc and substrate core level spectra. In the first monolayer the acene plane form an angle of 33 +/- 2 degrees with the Au(111) surface at variance with the vertical geometry reported for thicker solution-processed or evaporated films, whereas the presence of configurational disorder was observed in the multilayer. The thermal annealing of the TIPS-Pc/Au(111) interface reveals the ligand desorption at similar to 470 K, which leaves the backbone of the decomposed molecule flat-lying on the metal surface as in the case of the unmodified pentacene. The weak interaction with the metal substrate causes the molecular dissociation to occur 60 K below the thermal decomposition taking place in thick drop-cast films.