Structurally induced large changes of the energy level alignment in CuPc on Cu(110)-(2×1) O

Bret Maughan, Calley N. Eads, Percy Zahl, Oliver L.A. Monti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


While it is becoming apparent that organic semiconductor/metal interfaces may exhibit a variety of different structural phases, it is at present unclear to what extent these different thin-film structures determine the interfacial electronic structure. Here, we observe large changes in the interfacial electronic structure for the case of copper(II) phthalocyanine (CuPc) on Cu(110)-(2×1)O. This striking evolution of the interfacial electronic structure occurs beyond the first monolayer of CuPc and is particularly evident in the frontier orbital region. Using scanning tunneling microscopy in conjunction with photoemission spectroscopy, we characterize ultrathin films of CuPc grown on oxygen reconstructed Cu(110). We propose that the observed unique changes to the electronic structure result from an abrupt transition in film structure between the first and second layers: An interface layer of ordered, face-on molecules templates a largely vertical, edge-on orientation of molecules in the subsequent layer. The quadrupole moment of the molecule accounts for the sizable and unusual change in ionization energy between molecules in the two layers. Our results demonstrate that the precise structure of the organic semiconductor film exerts an important role in determining the interfacial electronic structure that must be considered and may be harnessed for tailoring energy level alignment at such interfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number155106
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 2 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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