Orienting dilute thin films of non-planar spin-1/2 vanadyl–phthalocyanine complexes†
The molecular orientation as well as the electronic and magnetic properties of vanadyl–phthalocyanine (VOPc) diluted into titanyl–phthalocyanine (TiOPc) thin films on Si(100) and polycrystalline aluminum substrates have been investigated by soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), X-ray linear dichroism (XLD) and X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD). On the bare substrates the films grow with a standing-up geometry. By contrast, on template layers of 3,4,9,10-perylene-tetracarboxylic dianhydride (PTCDA), they assume a lying-down orientation. Moreover, a theoretical model based on the normalized intensity of the nitrogen K-edge XLD is established in order to extract the molecular orientation angle quantitatively without the need for crystallinity and with the sub-monolayer sensitivity of soft-XAS. XMCD reveals that the vanadium magnetic properties are preserved in both non-diluted and diluted films. The results pave the way toward the use of VOPc as nanometer-sized spin quantum bits.