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Issue 72, 2018
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Amphiphile self-assembly dynamics at the solution-solid interface reveal asymmetry in head/tail desorption

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Abstract

Amphiphilic alkoxybenzonitriles (ABNs) of varying chain length are studied at the solution/graphite interface to analyze dynamics of assembly. Competitive self-assembly between ABNs and alkanoic acid solvent is shown by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to be controlled by concentration and molecular size. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations reveal key roles of the sub-nanosecond fundamental steps of desorption, adsorption, and on-surface motion. We discovered asymmetry in desorption–adsorption steps. Desorption starting from alkyl chain detachment from the surface is favored due to dynamic occlusion by neighbouring chains. Even though the nitrile head has a strong solvent affinity, it more frequently re-adsorbs following a detachment event.

Graphical abstract: Amphiphile self-assembly dynamics at the solution-solid interface reveal asymmetry in head/tail desorption

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
04 Jun 2018
Accepted
23 Jul 2018
First published
01 Aug 2018

Chem. Commun., 2018,54, 10076-10079
Article type
Communication
Author version available

Amphiphile self-assembly dynamics at the solution-solid interface reveal asymmetry in head/tail desorption

H. D. Castillo, J. M. Espinosa-Duran, J. R. Dobscha, D. C. Ashley, S. Debnath, B. E. Hirsch, S. R. Schrecke, M. Baik, P. J. Ortoleva, K. Raghavachari, A. H. Flood and S. L. Tait, Chem. Commun., 2018, 54, 10076
DOI: 10.1039/C8CC04465A

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