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Vibrational Sum Frequency Spectroscopic Investigation of the Azimuthal Anisotropy and Rotational Dynamics of Methyl-Terminated Silicon(111) Surfaces

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journal contribution
posted on 17.01.2013, 00:00 by Sergey Malyk, Fadel Y. Shalhout, Leslie E. O’Leary, Nathan S. Lewis, Alexander V. Benderskii
Polarization-selected vibrational sum frequency generation spectroscopy (SFG) has been used to investigate the molecular orientation of methyl groups on CH3-terminated Si(111) surfaces. The symmetric and asymmetric C–H stretch modes of the surface-bound methyl group were observed by SFG. Both methyl stretches showed a pronounced azimuthal anisotropy of the 3-fold symmetry in registry with the signal from the Si(111) substrate, indicating that the propeller-like rotation of the methyl groups was hindered at room temperature. The difference in the SFG line widths for the CH3 asymmetric stretch that was observed for different polarization combinations (SPS and PPP for SFG, visible, and IR) indicated that the rotation proceeded on a 1–2 ps time scale, as compared to the ∼100 fs rotational dephasing of a free methyl rotor at room temperature.