We have investigated the controversy surrounding the (3×3)R30° structure of self-assembled monolayers of methylthiolate on Au(111) by first principles molecular dynamics simulations, energy and angle resolved photoelectron diffraction, and grazing incidence x-ray diffraction. Our simulations find a dynamic equilibrium between bridge site adsorption and a novel structure where 2 CH3S radicals are bound to an Au adatom that has been lifted from the gold substrate. As a result, the interface is characterized by a large atomic roughness with both adatoms and vacancies. This result is confirmed by extensive photoelectron and grazing incidence x-ray diffraction measurements.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)