Theoretical study of the effect of surface density on the dynamics of Ar + alkanethiolate self-assembled monolayer collisions


We present a classical-trajectory study of energy transfer in collisions of Ar atoms with alkanethiolate self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of different densities. The density of the SAMs is varied by changing the distance between the alkanethiolate chains in the organic monolayers. Our calculations indicate that SAMs with smaller packing densities absorb more energy from the impinging Ar atoms, in agreement with recent molecular-beam scattering experiments. We find that energy transfer is enhanced by a decrease in the SAM density because (1) less dense SAMs increase the probability of multiple encounters between Ar and the SAM, (2) the vibrational frequencies of large-amplitude motions of the SAM chains decrease for less dense SAMs, which makes energy transfer more efficient in single-encounter collisions, and (3) increases in the distance between chains promote surface penetration of the Ar atom. Analysis of angular distributions reveals that the polar-angle distributions do not have a cosine shape in trapping-desorption processes involving penetration of the Ar atom into the alkanethiolate self-assembled monolayers. Instead, there is a preference for Ar atoms that penetrate the surface to desorb along the chain-tilt direction. © 2006 American Chemical Society.

Publication Title

Journal of Physical Chemistry A