On the Electron-Induced Reactions of (CH3)AuP(CH3)3: A Combined UHV Surface Science and Gas-Phase Study

Ali Kamali, Elif Bilgilisoy, Alexander Wolfram, Thomas Xaver Gentner, Gerd Ballmann, Sjoerd Harder, Hubertus Marbach*, Oddur Ingólfsson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Focused-electron-beam-induced deposition (FEBID) is a powerful nanopatterning technique where electrons trigger the local dissociation of precursor molecules, leaving a deposit of non-volatile dissociation products. The fabrication of high-purity gold deposits via FEBID has significant potential to expand the scope of this method. For this, gold precursors that are stable under ambient conditions but fragment selectively under electron exposure are essential. Here, we investigated the potential gold precursor (CH3)AuP(CH3)3 using FEBID under ultra-high vacuum (UHV) and spectroscopic characterization of the corresponding metal-containing deposits. For a detailed insight into electron-induced fragmentation, the deposit’s composition was compared with the fragmentation pathways of this compound through dissociative ionization (DI) under single-collision conditions using quantum chemical calculations to aid the interpretation of these data. Further comparison was made with a previous high-vacuum (HV) FEBID study of this precursor. The average loss of about 2 carbon and 0.8 phosphor per incident was found in DI, which agreed well with the carbon content of the UHV FEBID deposits. However, the UHV deposits were found to be as good as free of phosphor, indicating that the trimethyl phosphate is a good leaving group. Differently, the HV FEBID experiments showed significant phosphor content in the deposits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2727
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 722149. E.B. and H.M. acknowledge financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) within the research unit FOR 1878/funCOS. A.K and O.I. acknowledge support from the Icelandic Centre of Research (RANNIS), grant no. 185346-05.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

Other keywords

  • Auger electron spectroscopy (AES)
  • dissociative ionization
  • electron-induced mechanism
  • focused-electron-beam-induced deposition (FEBID)
  • gold deposits
  • HV gas-phase study
  • low-energy electrons
  • quantum chemical calculation
  • ultra-high vacuum


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