Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version



J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 32 (2020) 324003




The iron(II) spin crossover complex Fe(1,10-phenanthroline)2(NCS)2, dubbed Fe-phen, has been studied with scanning tunneling microscopy, after adsorption on the 'herringbone' reconstructed surface of Au(111) for sub-monolayer coverages. The Fe-phen molecules attach, through their NCS-groups, to the Au atoms of the fcc domains of the reconstructed surface only, thereby lifting the herringbone reconstruction. The molecules stack to form 1D chains, which run along the Au[110] directions. Neighboring Fe-phen molecules are separated by approximately 2.65 nm, corresponding to 9 atomic spacings in this direction. The molecular axis, defined by the two phenanthroline groups, is aligned perpendicular to the chain axis, along the Au [221] direction, thereby bridging over 5 atomic spacings, in this direction. Experimental evidence suggests that the molecular spins are locked in a mixed state in the sub-monolayer regime at temperatures between 100 K and 300 K.