The self-assembly of multicomponent networks at the liquid-solid interface between Au(111) or highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) and organic solvents was investigated using scanning tunneling microscopy. Alkoxylated dehydrobenzoannulene (DBA) derivatives form hexagonal nanoporous networks, which trap either single molecules of coronene (COR) or small clusters of COR and isophthalic acid to form multicomponent networks. The pattern of interdigitation between alkyl chains from DBA molecules produces hexagonal pores that are either chiral or achiral. On Au(111) substrates multicomponent networks display an ordered superlattice arrangement of chiral and achiral pores. In comparison, similar networks on HOPG display only chiral pores. The unique superlattice structure observed on Au(111) is related to a lower energetic preference for chiral pores than on HOPG and increased diffusion barriers for guest molecules. The increased diffusion barriers for guests allow them to act as nucleation sites for the formation of achiral pores. Following the initial nucleation of an achiral pore, restrictions imposed by the accommodation of guests within the porous network mean that subsequent growth naturally leads to the formation of the superlattice structure.
- host-guest systems
- scanning tunnelling microscopy
- solid-liquid interface
- substrate effect