Van der Waals interactions and the limits of isolated atom models at interfaces

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Researchers

Research units

  • Japan Science and Technology Agency
  • Kanazawa University
  • University of Basel
  • Paul Scherrer Institute
  • National Institute for Materials Science Tsukuba
  • Åbo Akademi University
  • Linköping University
  • Heidelberg University 

Abstract

Van der Waals forces are among the weakest, yet most decisive interactions governing condensation and aggregation processes and the phase behaviour of atomic and molecular matter. Understanding the resulting structural motifs and patterns has become increasingly important in studies of the nanoscale regime. Here we measure the paradigmatic van der Waals interactions represented by the noble gas atom pairs Ar-Xe, Kr-Xe and Xe-Xe with a Xe-functionalized tip of an atomic force microscope at low temperature. Individual rare gas atoms were fixed at node sites of a surface-confined two-dimensional metal-organic framework. We found that the magnitude of the measured force increased with the atomic radius, yet detailed simulation by density functional theory revealed that the adsorption induced charge redistribution strengthened the van der Waals forces by a factor of up to two, thus demonstrating the limits of a purely atomic description of the interaction in these representative systems.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number11559
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • TOTAL-ENERGY CALCULATIONS, WAVE BASIS-SET, FORCE MICROSCOPY, CHEMICAL-IDENTIFICATION, SURFACE, RESOLUTION, ADSORPTION, MOLECULES, SYSTEMS, NOBLE

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