• density functional calculations;
  • gold;
  • IR spectroscopy;
  • raman spectroscopy;
  • vibrational spectroscopy


Using density functional theory, we calculate the IR and Raman signatures of the thiophenol (TP) molecule adsorbed on gold clusters by mimicking the different types of adsorption sites, and we analyze these signatures by using advanced tools implemented into the pyvib2 program. First, we follow the evolution of the vibrational normal modes from the isolated TP molecule to those of TP adsorbed on different clusters to highlight the influence of the site of adsorption on the vibrational motions. The use of the overlap matrix between the modes enables mode permutations, mode mixings, and mode splittings to be highlighted, all of which depend not only on the adsorption but also on the type of cluster and its symmetry. Second, the IR and Raman signatures were analyzed by using group coupling matrices and atomic contribution patterns based on the Hug decomposition scheme. Key results include 1) the fact that Raman spectroscopy is more sensitive than IR spectroscopy with respect to the nature of the coordination site, 2) an IR criterion that distinguishes between on-top coordination (onefold coordinated) with respect to the bridge (twofold coordinated) and hexagonal close-packed hollow site coordination (threefold coordinated), and 3) the best agreement to the experimental Raman spectrum with regard to signatures in the 500 to 1200 cm−1 region is obtained for bridged, twofold coordination.