The DECiMOL (DECoupling Insulator-supported MOLecules) project exploits complementary real- and reciprocal space spectromicroscopy techniques to develop key insights into the correlations which exist between electronic structure, interaction forces, and geometry of molecules adsorbed on thin insulating layers on silicon. This understanding is mandatory in areas such as molecule-based information processing or optoelectronic devices. DECiMOL will specifically aim at investigating the transition in binding situation of the deposited molecules depending on the insulator thickness as well as the molecular functionalisation by inspecting molecular properties and explore the capability to locally change the geometric or electronic state of the adsorbed molecules. Most importantly, DECiMOL will study the efficacy of decoupling molecules from semiconductor, rather than metal surfaces, via a thin insulating films by using a combination of three experimental techniques – namely scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), dynamic force microscopy (DFM, also known as non-contact atomic force microscopy), and photoemission spectroscopy (PES). The experimental approach will be supplemented by density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Within DECiMOL, the researcher will be trained in using PES and DFT methods, which form an important complimentary approach to his previous STM and DFM based work.
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