Temperature-induced structural phase transitions in a two-dimensional self-assembled network

Matthew O. Blunt*, Jinne Adisoejoso, Kazukuni Tahara, Keisuke Katayama, Mark Van Der Auweraer, Tobe Yoshito, Steven De Feyter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Two-dimensional (2D) supramolecular self-assembly at liquid-solid interfaces is a thermodynamically complex process producing a variety of structures. The formation of multiple network morphologies from the same molecular building blocks is a common occurrence. We use scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) to investigate a structural phase transition between a densely packed and a porous phase of an alkylated dehydrobenzo[12]annulene (DBA) derivative physisorbed at a solvent-graphite interface. The influence of temperature and concentration are studied and the results combined using a thermodynamic model to measure enthalpy and entropy changes associated with the transition. These experimental results are compared to corresponding values obtained from simulations and theoretical calculations. This comparison highlights the importance of considering the solvent when modeling porous self-assembled networks. The results also demonstrate the power of using structural phase transitions to study the thermodynamics of these systems and will have implications for the development of predictive models for 2D self-assembly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12068-12075
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number32
StatePublished - 14 Aug 2013

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