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Resolving Quinoid Structure in Poly(para-phenylene) Chains

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journal contribution
posted on 18.05.2020, 17:39 by Bingkai Yuan, Can Li, Yan Zhao, Oliver Gröning, Xieyu Zhou, Pengfei Zhang, DanDan Guan, Yaoyi Li, Hao Zheng, Canhua Liu, Yiyong Mai, Peinian Liu, Wei Ji, Jinfeng Jia, Shiyong Wang
The quinoid structure, a resonance structure of benzenoid, gives rise to peculiar chemical reactivity and physical properties. A complete characterization of its geometric and electronic properties on the atomic scale is of vital importance to understand and engineer the chemical and physical properties of quinoid molecules. Here, we report a real-space structural and electronic characterization of quinoid poly­(para-phenylene) (PPP) chains by using noncontact atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy. Our results reveal that quinoid PPP chains adopt a coplanar adsorption configuration on Cu(111) and host in-gap states near Fermi level. In addition, intra- and interchain hopping of quinoid structure are observed, indicative of a quasiparticle behavior originating from charge–lattice interactions. The experimental results are nicely reproduced by tight-binding calculations. Our study provides a comprehensive understanding of the structural and electronic properties of quinoid PPP chains in real space and may be further extended to address the dynamics of nonlinear excitations in quinoid molecules.