Electronic and optical properties of hybrid gold - organic dye systems
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In order to gain insights into the electronic interactions between metallic gold and self-assembled monolayers composed of π-conjugated thiols, a series of thiol-containing molecules based on a stilbene backbone were synthesized and assembled on gold surface. The resulted monolayers were characterized with a variety of surface-sensitive techniques and the electronic properties of the obtained surfaces were studied with the use of ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy. Work-function changes and alignment of the molecular energy levels with respect to the Fermi level of the metal were investigated and important insights regarding the electronic properties of the metal / organic interfaces were obtained. Another aspect of interactions between organic dyes and metallic gold was studied in the context of spectroscopic properties of systems incorporating gold nanoparticles with organic fluorophores covalently attached to the nanoparticle surface. Ultrafast dynamics of the excited-state deactivation of the organic fluorophores attached to the surface of gold nanoparticles were studied with the use of a fs transient absorption technique. It was found that the close proximity of a gold nanoparticle had a profound impact on the excited-state lifetime of the studied organic fluorophore. The influence of the structure of the studied systems on the excited-state deactivation dynamics of the organic fluorophores was described.