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J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Mar 18;131(10):3460-1. doi: 10.1021/ja8101083.

Building 2D crystals from 5-fold-symmetric molecules.

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  • 1Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, Laboratory for Nanoscale Materials Science, Ueberlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dubendorf, Switzerland.

Abstract

Concepts of close packing in monolayers of 5-fold-symmetric buckybowls are discussed. When the symmetry of lattice and molecular building blocks are incompatible, new strategies evolve. Corannulene forms a hexagonal lattice on Cu(111) by tilting away from the C(5) symmetry and aligning one hexagonal ring parallel to the surface. The chiral 5-fold-substituted chloro and methyl derivatives do not show this tilt and maintain the 5-fold symmetry as adsorbates. Consequently, a nonperfect tiling is observed. Their lattices are quasi-hexagonal: one in an antiparallel fashion with almost pm symmetry and the other with azimuthal and positional disorder on the hexagonal grid. Our results are in remarkable agreement with computational and mechanical modeling experiments of close packing of hard pentagonal discs in macroscopic two-dimensional systems and prove the validity of such modeling strategies.

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