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Issue 43, 2018
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Unidirectional supramolecular self-assembly inside nanocorrals via in situ STM nanoshaving

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Abstract

Self-assembly of an alkylated diacetylene derivative is spatially confined via in situ scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) nanoshaving inside covalently modified highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (CM-HOPG). In contrast to unconstrained self-assembly that occurs randomly along three thermodynamically equivalent surface lattice directions, spatially confined assemblies are shown to form along chosen substrate orientations. Experimental statistics suggest two mechanisms for breaking the rotational degeneracy of the surface. First, the assembly orientation is biased via lateral confinement inside nanocorrals that do not match the substrate symmetry. Second, an interaction between the assembling molecules and the STM tip during nanoshaving guides 2D crystal nucleation and growth. The results presented here open new possibilities to regulate and orient self-assembled architectures via in situ nanomechanical manipulation techniques and provide mechanistic insights into the process.

Graphical abstract: Unidirectional supramolecular self-assembly inside nanocorrals via in situ STM nanoshaving

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
20 Aug 2018
Accepted
23 Oct 2018
First published
23 Oct 2018

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018,20, 27482-27489
Article type
Paper

Unidirectional supramolecular self-assembly inside nanocorrals via in situ STM nanoshaving

L. Verstraete, J. Smart, B. E. Hirsch and S. De Feyter, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, 20, 27482
DOI: 10.1039/C8CP05316B

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