5 years ago

Evidence for Ultralow-Energy Vibrations in Large Organic Molecules

Evidence for Ultralow-Energy Vibrations in Large Organic Molecules
Jun-Long Zhang, Sokrates T. Pantelides, Yu-Yang Zhang, Hui Chen, Werner A. Hofer, Shixuan Du, Hong-Jun Gao, De-Liang Bao, Zhuo-Yan Wu, Thomas Pope, Wende Xiao, Lei Tao, Dongfei Wang, Song Gao
The quantum efficiency or the rate of conversion of incident photon to free electron in photosynthesis is known to be extremely high. It has long been thought that the origin of this efficiency are molecular vibrations leading to a very fast separation of electrons and holes within the involved molecules. However, molecular vibrations are commonly in the range above 100 meV, which is too high for excitations in an ambient environment. Here, we analyze experimental spectra of single organic molecules on metal surfaces at ∼4 K, which often exhibit a pronounced dip. We show that measurements on iron(II) [tetra-(pentafluorophenyl)]porphyrin resolve this single dip at 4 K into a series of step-shaped inelastic excitations at 0.4 K. Via extensive spectral maps under applied magnetic fields and corresponding theoretical analysis we find that the dip is due to ultralow-energy vibrations of the molecular frame, typically in the range below 20 meV. The result indicates that ultralow energy vibrations in organic molecules are much more common than currently thought and may be all-pervasive for molecules above a certain size.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b01963

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b01963

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