Electron induced surface reactions of (η5-C5H5)Fe(CO)2Mn(CO)5, a potential heterobimetallic precursor for focused electron beam induced deposition (FEBID)†
Electron-induced surface reactions of (η5-C5H5)Fe(CO)2Mn(CO)5 were explored in situ under ultra-high vacuum conditions using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. The initial step involves electron-stimulated decomposition of adsorbed (η5-C5H5)Fe(CO)2Mn(CO)5 molecules, accompanied by the desorption of an average of five CO ligands. A comparison with recent gas phase studies suggests that this precursor decomposition step occurs by a dissociative ionization (DI) process. Further electron irradiation decomposes the residual CO groups and (η5-C5H5, Cp) ligand, in the absence of any ligand desorption. The decomposition of CO ligands leads to Mn oxidation, while electron stimulated Cp decomposition causes all of the associated carbon atoms to be retained in the deposit. The lack of any Fe oxidation is ascribed to either the presence of a protective carbonaceous matrix around the Fe atoms created by the decomposition of the Cp ligand, or to desorption of both CO ligands bound to Fe in the initial decomposition step. The selective oxidation of Mn in the absence of any Fe oxidation suggests that the fate of metal atoms in mixed-metal precursors for focused electron beam induced deposition (FEBID) will be sensitive to the nature and number of ligands in the immediate coordination sphere. In related studies, the composition of deposits created from (η5-C5H5)Fe(CO)2Mn(CO)5 under steady state deposition conditions, representative of those used to create nanostructures in electron microscopes, were measured and found to be qualitatively consistent with predictions from the UHV surface science studies.