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Nano Lett. 2008 Dec;8(12):4162-7. doi: 10.1021/nl801592c.

Coexistence of racemic and homochiral two-dimensional lattices formed by a prochiral molecule: dicarboxystilbene on Cu(110).

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  • 1Departamento Física de Materiales, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.


Dicarboxystilbene, a molecule that becomes chiral in the adsorbed state through the loss of its improper axis of rotation, forms long-range "handed" structures when adsorbed on Cu(110) as revealed by scanning tunnelling microscopy. We show that these structures are created from chiral "adsorption complex" building blocks, giving rise to a complete set of racemic and enantiomerically pure structural assemblies. We interpret the formation of these structures in terms of a balance between hydrogen bond mediated intermolecular interactions and the adsorbate-surface structural relationship and discuss the reasons for temperature-induced conversion from the metastable enantiomerically pure to the racemic structure.

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