Because the spatial distribution of frontier molecular orbitals (FMOs) regulates the thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) property, researchers synthesize TADF emitters by designing their FMO distribution. However, it remains challenging to clarify how the FMO distribution is altered at molecular interfaces. Thus, visualizing the FMOs at molecular interfaces helps us to understand the working behavior of TADF emitters. Using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), we investigated the electronic structure of a single TADF emitter, hexamethylazatriangulene-triazine, at molecule-metal and molecule-insulating film interfaces. FMOs at the molecule-metal interface were not spatially confined to the donor-acceptor moieties because of hybridization. Meanwhile, FMOs at the molecule-insulator interface exhibited spatially separated filled and empty states confined to each moiety, similar to the calculated gas-phase FMOs. These observations illustrate that the molecule-environment interaction alters the spatial distribution of FMOs, proving that STM is a powerful tool for studying TADF molecules.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry