19630 , 2015-08-07 , Royal Society of Chemistry
We have investigated the physisorption states of H-2 on Ag(111) surfaces. To clarify the accurate adsorption properties of H-2 on Ag(111), we performed first-principles calculations based on spin-polarized density functional theory (DFT) with the semiempirical DFT-D2 method and the newly-developed exchange functional with the non-local correlation functional vdW-DF2 (rev-vdW-DF2). We constructed exhaustive potential energy surfaces, and revealed that non-negligible out-of-plane potential anisotropy with a perpendicular orientation preference exists even for H-2 physisorption on planar Ag(111), as predicted by previous results of resonance-enhanced multiphoton ionization spectroscopy and temperature-programmed desorption experiments. Therefore, the molecular rotational ground states of ortho-H-2 split into two energy levels in the anisotropic potential. The obtained adsorption energy and the number of bound states, including the zero-point energies and the rotational energy shift, agree with diffractive and rotationally mediated selective adsorption scattering resonance measurements. The origin of the potential anisotropy on Ag(111) is a combination of the London dispersion interaction and the virtual transition of the metal electron to the unoccupied molecular state.