Towards modelling the vibrational signatures of functionalized surfaces: Carboxylic acids on H-Si(111) surfaces

Conrard Giresse Tetsassi Feugmo, B. Champagne, Y. Caudano, F. Cecchet, Y.J. Chabal, V. Liégeois

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In this work, we investigate the adsorption process of two carboxylic acids (stearic and undecylenic) on a HSi(111) surface via the calculation of structural and energy changes as well as the simulation of their IR and Raman spectra. The two molecules adsorb differently at the surface since the stearic acid simply physisorbs while the undecylenic acid undergoes a chemical reaction with the hydrogen atoms of the surface. This difference is observed in the change of geometry during the adsorption. Indeed, the chemisorption of the undecylenic acid has a bigger impact on the structure than the physisorption of the stearic acid. Consistently, the former is also characterized by a larger value of adsorption energy and a smaller value of the tilting angle with respect to the normal plane. For both the IR and Raman signatures, the spectra of both molecules adsorbed at the surface are in a first approximation the superposition of the spectra of the Si cluster and of the carboxylic acid considered individually. The main deviation from this simple observation is the peak of the stretching SiH ((SiH)) mode, which is split into two peaks upon adsorption. As expected, the splitting is bigger for the chemisorption than the physisorption. The modes corresponding to atomic displacements close to the adsorption site display a frequency upshift by a dozen wavenumbers. One can also see the disappearance of the peaks associated with the C=C double bond when the undecylenic acid chemisorbs at the surface. The Raman and IR spectra are complementary and one can observe here that the most active Raman modes are generally IR inactive. Two exceptions to this are the two (SiH) modes which are active in both spectroscopies. Finally, we compare our simulated spectra with some experimental measurements and we find an overall good agreement.
Original languageEnglish
Article number124111
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2012


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