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J Chem Phys. 2016 Oct 7;145(13):134702.

Growth kinetics of racemic heptahelicene-2-carboxylic acid nanowires on calcite (104).

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School of Chemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.
Institut für Computerphysik, Universität Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 27, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany.
Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, 55099 Mainz, Germany.
Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i., Flemingovo nám. 2, 166 10 Prague 6, Czech Republic.
Fachbereich Physik, Universität Osnabrück, Barbarastraße 7, 49076 Osnabrück, Germany.


Molecular self-assembly of racemic heptahelicene-2-carboxylic acid on a dielectric substrate at room temperature can be used to generate wire-like organic nanostructures consisting of single and double molecular rows. By means of non-contact atomic force microscopy, we investigate the growth of the wire-like pattern after deposition by experimental and theoretical means. From analyzing the time dependence of the mean row length, two distinct regimes were found. At the early post-deposition stage, the mean length grows in time. Subsequently, a crossover to a second regime is observed, where the mean row length remains nearly constant. We explain these findings by a mean-field rate equation approach providing a comprehensive picture of the growth kinetics. As a result, we demonstrate that the crossover between the two distinct regimes is accomplished by vanishing of the homochiral single rows. At later stages only heterochiral double row structures remain.


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