The impact of grafted surface defects and their controlled removal on supramolecular self-assembly†
We demonstrate the use of covalently modified graphite as a convenient and powerful test-bed for the versatile investigation and control of 2-D crystallization at the liquid solid interface. Grafted aryls act as surface defects and create barriers to supramolecular self-assembly. An easily tunable grafting density allows for varying the effect of such defects on supramolecular self-assembly. Finally, the defects can be locally removed, triggering monolayer reconstructions and allowing in situ investigations of thermodynamically unstable or metastable morphologies.