Nano Research

Article Title

Real-time decay of fluorinated fullerene molecules on Cu(001) surface controlled by initial coverage


fluorinated fullerene, (001) Cu surface, two-dimensional (2D) molecular island, 2D gas phase, self-assembling molecules, scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), density functional theory (DFT)


ABSTRACT In this study, the evolution of C60F18 molecules on a Cu(001) surface was studied by means of scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory calculations. The results showed that fluorinated fullerenes (tortoise-shaped polar C60F18) decay on Cu(001) surfaces by a step-by-step detachment of F atoms from the C60 cage. The most favorable adsorption configuration was realized when the F atoms of C60F18 pointed towards the Cu surface and six F atoms were detached from it. The results also showed that a further decay of C60F12 molecules strongly depended on the initial C60F18 coverage. The detached F atoms initially formed a two-dimensional (2D) gas phase which then slowly transformed into F-induced surface structures. The degree of contact between the C60F12 molecules and the Cu(001) surface depended on the density of the 2D gas phase. Hence, the life-time of fluorinated fullerenes was determined by the density of the 2D gas phase, which was affected by the formation of new F-induced structures and the decay of C60F12 molecules.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press