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Issue 28, 2020
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Nanoscale tailoring of supramolecular crystals via an oriented external electric field

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Abstract

The oriented external electric field of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) has recently been adapted for controlling the chemical reaction and supramolecular phase transition at surfaces with molecular precision. However, to date, advance controls using such electric-fields for crystal engineering have not been achieved yet. Here, we present how the directional electric-field of an STM can be utilized to harness supramolecular crystallization on a solid surface. We show that a glass-like random-tiling assembly composed of p-terphenyl-3,5,3′,5′-tetracarboxylic acid can transform into close-packed periodic assemblies under positive substrate bias conditions at the liquid/solid interface. Importantly, the nucleation and subsequent crystal growth for such field-induced products can be artificially tailored at the early stage in a real-time fashion. Through this method, we were able to produce a two-dimensional supramolecular single crystal. The as-prepared crystals with apparent brightness are ascribed to a spectroscopic feature linked to the electron density of states, which is thus strongly STM bias dependent.

Graphical abstract: Nanoscale tailoring of supramolecular crystals via an oriented external electric field

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
09 Mar 2020
Accepted
04 May 2020
First published
04 May 2020

This article is Open Access

Nanoscale, 2020,12, 15072-15080
Article type
Paper

Nanoscale tailoring of supramolecular crystals via an oriented external electric field

X. Zeng, S. B. Khan, A. Mahmood and S. Lee, Nanoscale, 2020, 12, 15072
DOI: 10.1039/D0NR01946A

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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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