Functionalized Truxenes: Adsorption and Diffusion of Single Molecules on the KBr(001) Surface

In this work, we have studied the adsorption and diffusion of large functionalized organic molecules on an insulating ionic surface at room temperature using a noncontact atomic force microscope (NC-AFM) and theoretical modeling. Custom designed <i>syn</i>-5,10,15-tris(4-cyanophenylmethyl)truxene molecules are adsorbed onto the nanoscale structured KBr(001) surface at low coverages and imaged with atomic and molecular resolution with the NC-AFM. The molecules are observed rapidly diffusing along the perfect monolayer step edges and immobilized at monolayer kink sites. Extensive atomistic simulations elucidate the mechanisms of adsorption and diffusion of the molecule on the different surface features. The results of this study suggest methods of controlling the diffusion of adsorbates on insulating and nanostructured surfaces.