Kinetic control of molecular assembly on surfaces

Paris, Chiara, Floris, Andrea, Aeschlimann, Simon , Neff, Julia, Kling, Felix, Kühnle, Angelika and Kantorovich, Lev (2018) Kinetic control of molecular assembly on surfaces. Communications Chemistry, 1 (66). ISSN 2399-3669

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Kinetic control of molecular assembly on surfaces
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It is usually assumed that molecules deposited on surfaces assume the most thermodynamically stable structure. Here we show, by considering a model system of dihydroxybenzoic acid molecules on the (10.4) surface of calcite, that metastable molecular architectures may also be accessed by choosing a suitable initial state of the molecules which defines the observed transformation path. Moreover, we demonstrate that the latter
is entirely controlled by kinetics rather than thermodynamics. We argue that molecules are deposited as dimers that undergo, upon increase of temperature, a series of structural transitions from clusters to ordered striped and then dense networks, and finally to a disordered structure. Combining high-resolution dynamic atomic force microscopy experiments and density-functional theory calculations, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the fundamental principles driving this sequence of transitions. Our study may open new avenues based on kinetic control as a promising strategy for achieving tailored molecular architectures on surfaces.

Additional Information:Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Keywords:physics, density functional theory, molecular assembly on surfaces, calcite, insulating surfaces, self-assembly, kinetics, thermodynmics, Organic molecules
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F343 Computational Physics
F Physical Sciences > F200 Materials Science
F Physical Sciences > F170 Physical Chemistry
F Physical Sciences > F300 Physics
Divisions:College of Science > School of Mathematics and Physics
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ID Code:33858
Deposited On:25 Oct 2018 12:51

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