Electron Transmission through Coordinating Atoms Embedded in Metal-Organic Nanoporous Networks

Ignacio Piquero-Zulaica*, Ali Sadeghi, Mohammad Kherelden, Muqing Hua, Jing Liu, Guowen Kuang, Linghao Yan, J. Enrique Ortega, Zakaria M.Abd El-Fattah, Behnam Azizi, Nian Lin, Jorge Lobo-Checa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


On-surface metal-organic nanoporous networks generally refer to adatom coordinated molecular arrays, which are characterized by the presence of well-defined and regular nanopores. These periodic structures constructed using two types of components confine the surface electrons of the substrate within their nanocavities. However, the confining (or scattering) strength that individual building units exhibit is a priori unknown. Here, we study the modification of the substrate's surface electrons by the interaction with a Cu-coordinated TPyB metal-organic network formed on Cu(111) and disentangle the scattering potentials and confinement properties. By means of STM and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy we find almost unperturbed free-electron-like states stemming from the rather weak electron confinement that yields significant coupling between adjacent pores. Electron plane wave expansion simulations match the superlattice induced experimental electronic structure, which features replicating bands and energy renormalization effects. Notably, the electrostatic potential landscape obtained from our ab initio calculations suggests that the molecules are the dominant scattering entities while the coordination metal atoms sandwiched between them act as leaky channels. These metal atom transmission conduits facilitate and enhance the coupling among quantum dots, which are prone to be exploited to engineer the electronic structure of surface electron gases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number266805
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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