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Issue 23, 2010
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An electron induced two-dimensional switch made of azobenzene derivatives anchored in supramolecular assemblies

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Abstract

Supramolecular assemblies of 4-anilino-4′-nitroazobenzene are investigated on the Au(111) surface by low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy with submolecular resolution. Adsorption at 250 K leads to three different structures that are formed via hydrogen bonds: a star structure and two types of line structures: a meandering and a zigzag line. The formation of these supramolecular assemblies is affected by the available space on the fcc domains of the reconstructed Au(111) substrate as well as by the two-dimensional chirality of the molecules on the surface. The star structure is enantiomerically pure, while both types of lines consist of a racemic mixture. Bonding between homochiral pairs differ from the one between heterochiral pairs in the position of the hydrogen bonds. Inside these supramolecular assemblies two configurations of the molecules are identified: An almost straight trans-configuration and a slightly bent cis*-configuration. The trans-configuration largely reflects the structure of this isomer in gas phase, while the cis*-configuration is two-dimensional on the surface in contrast to the three-dimensional gas phase cis-configuration. The reversible trans-cis* isomerization is induced by electron tunneling through the LUMO+1 state of the molecule, which is located at +2.9 V.

Graphical abstract: An electron induced two-dimensional switch made of azobenzene derivatives anchored in supramolecular assemblies

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Nov 2009, accepted on 03 Mar 2010 and first published on 12 Apr 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B924488C
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010,12, 6035-6044
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    An electron induced two-dimensional switch made of azobenzene derivatives anchored in supramolecular assemblies

    J. Henzl and K. Morgenstern, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010, 12, 6035
    DOI: 10.1039/B924488C

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