Effect of dispersion on surface interactions of cobalt(ii) octaethylporphyrin monolayer on Au(111) and HOPG(0001) substrates: a comparative first principles study†
A density functional theory study of a cobalt(II) octaethylporphyrin (CoOEP) monolayer on Au(111) and HOPG(0001) surfaces was performed under periodic boundary conditions. Calculations with and without dispersion corrections are performed and the effect of van der Waals forces on the interface properties is analyzed. Calculations have determined that the CoOEP molecule tends to bind at the 3-fold and the 6-fold center sites on Au(111) and HOPG(0001), respectively. Geometric optimizations at the center binding sites have indicated that the porphyrin molecules (in the monolayer) lie flat on both substrates. Calculations also reveal that the CoOEP monolayer binds slightly more strongly to Au(111) than to HOPG(0001). Charge density difference plots disclose that charge is redistributed mostly around the porphyrin plane and the first layer of the substrates. Dispersion interactions cause a larger substrate to molecule charge pushback on Au(111) than on HOPG. CoOEP adsorption tends to lower the work functions of either substrate, qualitatively agreeing with the experimental photoelectron spectroscopic data. Comparison of the density of states (DOS) of the isolated CoOEP molecule with that on gold and HOPG substrates showed significant band shifts around the Fermi energy due to intermolecular orbital hybridization. Simulated STM images were plotted with the Tersoff–Hamann approach using the local density of states, which also agree with the experimental results. This study elucidates the role of dispersion for better describing porphyrin–substrate interactions. A DFT based overview of geometric, adsorption and electronic properties of a porphyrin monolayer on conductive surfaces is presented.