On the Ag(110) surface copper phthalocyanine (CuPc) orders in two structurally similar superstructures, as revealed by low-energy electron diffraction. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) shows that in both superstructures the molecular planes are oriented parallel to the surface and the long molecular axes, defined as diagonals of the square molecule, are rotated by ≅±32° away from the high-symmetry directions [110] and [001] of the silver surface. Similarly to many other adsorbed metal phthalocyanines, the CuPc molecules on Ag(110) appear in STM as crosslike features with twofold symmetry. Photoemission tomography based on angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy reveals a charge transfer from the substrate into the molecule. A symmetry analysis of experimental and theoretical constant binding energy maps of the photoemission intensity in the kx-ky-plane points to a preferential occupation of one of the two initially degenerate lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals (LUMOs) of eg symmetry. The occupied eg orbital is rotated by 32° against the [001] direction of the substrate. The lifting of the degeneracy of the LUMOs and the related reduction of the symmetry of the adsorbed CuPc molecule are attributed to an anisotropy in the chemical reactivity of the Ag(110) surface.

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.94.205144