Covalent modification of franckeite with maleimides: connecting molecules and van der Waals heterostructures†
The building of van der Waals heterostructures and the decoration of 2D materials with organic molecules share a common goal: to obtain ultrathin materials with tailored properties. Performing controlled chemistry on van der Waals heterostructures would add an extra level of complexity, providing a pathway towards 2D–2D–0D mixed-dimensional heterostructures. Here we show that thiol–ene-like “click” chemistry can be used to decorate franckeite, a naturally occurring van der Waals heterostructure with maleimide reagents. ATR-IR and NMR analyses corroborate the Michael addition mechanism via the formation of a S–C covalent bond, while Raman and HR-TEM show that the SnS2–PbS alternating structure of franckeite is preserved, and suggest that SnS2 reacts preferentially, which is confirmed through XPS. We illustrate how this methodology can be used to add functional molecular moieties by decorating franckeite with porphyrins. UV-vis-NIR spectroscopy confirms that the chromophore ground state remains operative, showing negligible ground-state interactions with the franckeite. Excited-state interactions across the hybrid interface are revealed. Time-resolved photoluminescence confirms the presence of excited-state deactivation in the linked porphyrin ascribed to energy transfer to the franckeite.