Among the many significant advances within the field of supramolecular chemistry over the past decades, the development of the so-called “dynamers” features a direct relevance to materials science. Defined as “combinatorial dynamic polymers”, dynamers are constitutional dynamic systems and materials resulting from the application of the principles of supramolecular chemistry to polymer science. Like supramolecular materials in general, dynamers are reversible dynamic multifunctional architectures, capable of modifying their constitution by exchanging, recombining, incorporating components. They may exhibit a variety of novel properties and behave as adaptive materials. In this review we focus on the design of responsive switchable monolayers, i.e. monolayers capable to undergo significant changes in their physical or chemical properties as a result of external stimuli. Scanning tunneling microscopy studies provide direct evidence with a sub-nanometre resolution, on the formation and dynamic response of these self-assembled systems featuring controlled geometries and properties.
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