Potential- and concentration-dependent self-assembly structures at solid/liquid interfaces†
We report the potential and concentration controlled assembly of an alkyl-substituted benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b′]dithiophene (DDBDT) on an Au(111) electrode by in situ electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy (ECSTM). It is found that a lamellar structure is formed at low concentrations, while herringbone-like and rhombus structures are obtained at high concentrations. In situ STM results reveal that herringbone-like and rhombus structures could transform into lamellar structures when the electrode potential is tuned negatively. A phase diagram is obtained to illustrate the relationship and effects of concentration and substrate potential on the interfacial structures of DDBDT. Both the substrate potential and the solute concentration can modulate the self-assembly structure through changing the molecular surface density. The results provide important insights into the understanding and precise control of molecular self-assembly on solid surfaces through a combination of different approaches.