Hybridization of Phenylthiolate- and Methylthiolate-Adatom Species at Low Coverage on the Au(111) Surface.

Journal of the American Chemical Society

PubMedID: 23469760

Maksymovych P, Sorescu DC, Voznyy O, Yates JT. Hybridization of Phenylthiolate- and Methylthiolate-Adatom Species at Low Coverage on the Au(111) Surface. J Am Chem Soc. 2013;.
Using scanning tunneling microscopy we observed reaction products of two chemisorbed thiolate species, methylthiolate and phenylthiolate, on the Au(111) surface. Despite the apparent stability, organometallic complexes of methylthiolate and phenylthiolate with the gold-adatom (RS-Au-SR, with R - the hydrocarbon group) undergo a stoichiometric exchange reaction, forming hybridized CH3S-Au-SPh complexes. Complementary density functional theory calculations suggest that the reaction is most likely mediated by a monothiolate RS-Au complex bonded to the gold surface, which forms a trithiolate RS-Au-(SR)-Au-SR complex as a key intermediate. This work therefore reveals the novel chemical reactivity of the low-coverage "striped" phase of alkanethiols on gold and strongly points to the involvement of monoadatom thiolate intermediates in this reaction. By extension, such intermediates may be involved in the self-assembly process itself, shedding new light on this long-standing problem.