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Ultrafast charge transfer in pyridine on Cu(110)

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The nature of the molecule-surface interaction determines the properties of molecular electronic devices and ideally we want to control this interaction. Here we initiate ultrafast charge transfer in pyridine on Cu(110), with femtosecond 532 nm pump pulses and probe the molecule-surface interaction with IR-visible sum frequency generation (SFG). We detect a response on two very different timescales – within a few 100 fs after the pump pulse, we detect ultrafast charge transfer from the surface to a pyridine π* orbital, leading to a tilted, metastable species with a lifetime of tens of picoseconds, which has potential to be used as a switch in molecular electronics.

This talk is part of the Surfaces, Microstructure and Fracture Group series.

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