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Langmuir. 2007 Nov 6;23(23):11570-9. Epub 2007 Oct 3.

Structure formation in bis(terpyridine) derivative adlayers: molecule-substrate versus molecule-molecule interactions.

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Institute of Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, Ulm University, D-89069 Ulm, Germany.


The influence of the substrate and the deposition conditions-vapor deposition versus deposition from solution-on the structures formed upon self-assembly of deposited bis(terpyridine) derivative (2,4'-BTP) monolayers on different hexagonal substrates, including highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG), Au(111), and (111)-oriented Ag thin films, was investigated by high-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy and by model calculations of the intermolecular energies and the lateral corrugation of the substrate-adsorbate interaction. Similar quasi-quadratic network structures with almost the same lattice constants obtained on all substrates are essentially identical to the optimum configuration expected from an optimization of the adlayer structure with C-H...N-type bridging bonds as a structure-determining factor, which underlines a key role of the intermolecular interactions in adlayer order. Slight distortions from the optimum values to form commensurate adlayer structures on the metal substrates and the preferential orientation of the adlayer with respect to the substrate are attributed to the substrate-adsorbate interactions, specifically, the lateral corrugation in the substrate-adsorbate interaction upon lateral displacement and rotation of the adsorbed BTP molecules. The fact that similar adlayer structures are obtained on HOPG under ultrahigh vacuum conditions (solid|gas interface) and on HOPG in trichlorobenzene (solid|liquid interface) indicates that the intermolecular interactions are not severely affected by the solvent.

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