Electronic and magnetic properties of molecule-metal interfaces: Transition-metal phthalocyanines adsorbed on Ag(100)

A. Mugarza, R. Robles, C. Krull, R. Korytár, N. Lorente, P. Gambardella

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We present a systematic investigation of molecule-metal interactions for transition-metal phthalocyanines (TMPc, with TM = Fe, Co, Ni, Cu) adsorbed on Ag(100). Scanning tunneling spectroscopy and density functional theory provide insight into the charge transfer and hybridization mechanisms of TMPc as a function of increasing occupancy of the 3d metal states. We show that all four TMPc receive approximately one electron from the substrate. Charge transfer occurs from the substrate to the molecules, inducing a charge reorganization in FePc and CoPc, while adding one electron to ligand π orbitals in NiPc and CuPc. This has opposite consequences on the molecular magnetic moment: In FePc and CoPc the interaction with the substrate tends to reduce the TM spin, whereas, in NiPc and CuPc, an additional spin is induced on the aromatic Pc ligand, leaving the TM spin unperturbed. In CuPc, the presence of both TM and ligand spins leads to a triplet ground state arising from intramolecular exchange coupling between d and π electrons. In FePc and CoPc the magnetic moment of C and N atoms is antiparallel to that of the TM. The different character and symmetry of the frontier orbitals in the TMPc series leads to varying degrees of hybridization and correlation effects, ranging from the mixed-valence (FePc, CoPc) to the Kondo regime (NiPc, CuPc). Coherent coupling between Kondo and inelastic excitations induces finite-bias Kondo resonances involving vibrational transitions in both NiPc and CuPc and triplet-singlet transitions in CuPc. © 2012 American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Article number155437
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2012


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