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Hydrogen Bond-Induced Pair Formation of Glycine on the Chiral Cu{531} Surface

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journal contribution
posted on 06.07.2010, 00:00 authored by Tugce Eralp, Andrey Shavorskiy, Zhasmina V. Zheleva, Vinod R. Dhanak, Georg Held
Enantio-specific interactions on intrinsically chiral or chirally modified surfaces can be identified experimentally via comparison of the adsorption geometries of similar nonchiral and chiral molecules. Information about the effects of substrate-related and intermolecular interactions on the adsorption geometry of glycine, the only natural nonchiral amino acid, is therefore important for identifying enantio-specific interactions of larger chiral amino acids. We have studied the long- and short-range adsorption geometry and bonding properties of glycine on the intrinsically chiral Cu{531} surface with low-energy electron diffraction, near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and temperature-programmed desorption. For coverages between 0.15 and 0.33 ML (saturated chemisorbed layer) and temperatures between 300 and 430 K, glycine molecules adsorb in two different azimuthal orientations, which are associated with adsorption sites on the {110} and {311} microfacets of Cu{531}. Both types of adsorption sites allow a triangular footprint with surface bonds through the two oxygen atoms and the nitrogen atom. The occupation of the two adsorption sites is equal for all coverages, which can be explained by pair formation due to similar site-specific adsorption energies and the possibility of forming hydrogen bonds between molecules on adjacent {110} and {311} sites. This is not the case for alanine and points toward higher site specificity in the case of alanine, which is eventually responsible for the enantiomeric differences observed for the alanine system.

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