Adsorption configurations of Co-phthalocyanine on In2O3(111)

Margareta Wagner*, Fabio Calcinelli, Andreas Jeindl, Michael Schmid, Oliver Hofmann, Ulrike Diebold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Indium oxide offers optical transparency paired with electrical conductivity, a combination required in many optoelectronic applications. The most-stable In2O3(111) surface has a large unit cell (1.43 nm lattice constant). It contains a mixture of both bulk-like and undercoordinated O and In atoms and provides an ideal playground to explore the interaction of surfaces with organic molecules of similar size as the unit cell. Non-contact atomic force microscopy (nc-AFM), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), and density functional theory (DFT) were used to study the adsorption of Co-phthalocyanine (CoPc) on In2O3(111). Isolated CoPc molecules adsorb at two adsorption sites in a ∼7:3 ratio. The Co atom sits either on top of a surface oxygen (‘F configuration’) or indium atom (‘S configuration’). This subtle change in adsorption site induces different bending of the molecules and differences in their electronic structure. According to DFT, the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital of the undistorted gas-phase CoPc remains mostly unaffected in the F configuration but is filled by one electron in S configuration. At coverages up to one CoPc molecule per substrate unit cell, a mixture of domains with molecules in F and S configuration are found. Molecules in F configuration first condense into a poorly ordered F-(2 × 2) structure and finally rearrange into an F-(1 × 1) structure in which the molecules partially overlap. The only ordered structure of molecules adsorbed in S configuration is an S-(1 × 1) superstructure at full monolayer coverage.
Original languageEnglish
Article number122065
JournalSurface Science
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Density functional theory
  • Electronic structure of organic molecules
  • Organic molecule on In O (111)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science


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