Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Volume 204, 2017
Previous Article Next Article

Generic nature of long-range repulsion mechanism on a bulk insulator?

Author affiliations


Dynamic atomic force microscopy measurements are reported that provide evidence for the presence of long-range repulsion in molecular self-assembly on a bulk insulator surface. We present the structures formed from four different benzoic acid derivatives on the (10.4) cleavage plane of calcite kept in ultra-high vacuum. These molecules have in common that they self-assemble into molecular stripes when deposited onto the surface held at room temperature. For all molecules tested, a detailed analysis of the stripe-to-stripe distance distribution reveals a clear deviation from what would be expected for randomly placed, non-interacting stripes (i.e., geometric distribution). When excluding kinetic effects during growth, this result gives evidence for a long-range repulsion mechanism acting during the assembly of these stripes. The fact that this finding is robust against changes in the molecular structure indicates a generic nature of the observed mechanism, implying a ubiquitous origin such as electrostatic repulsion. Finally, we discuss parameters that might affect the unambiguous observation of this generic repulsion under specific experimental conditions.

Back to tab navigation

Associated articles

Supplementary files

Article information

03 Mar 2017
24 Mar 2017
First published
24 Mar 2017

Faraday Discuss., 2017,204, 419-428
Article type

Generic nature of long-range repulsion mechanism on a bulk insulator?

J. L. Neff, A. Richter, H. Söngen, C. Venturini, A. Gourdon, R. Bechstein and A. Kühnle, Faraday Discuss., 2017, 204, 419
DOI: 10.1039/C7FD00089H

Social activity

Search articles by author