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London Dispersion Directs On-Surface Self-Assembly of [121]Tetramantane Molecules

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journal contribution
posted on 28.08.2017, 00:00 by Daniel Ebeling, Marina Šekutor, Marvin Stiefermann, Jalmar Tschakert, Jeremy E. P. Dahl, Robert M. K. Carlson, André Schirmeisen, Peter R. Schreiner
London dispersion (LD) acts between all atoms and molecules in nature, but the role of LD interactions in the self-assembly of molecular layers is still poorly understood. In this study, direct visualization of single molecules using atomic force microscopy with CO-functionalized tips revealed the exact adsorption structures of bulky and highly polarizable [121]­tetramantane molecules on Au(111) and Cu(111) surfaces. We determined the absolute molecular orientations of the completely sp3-hybridized tetramantanes on metal surfaces. Moreover, we demonstrate how LD drives this on-surface self-assembly of [121]­tetramantane hydrocarbons, resulting in the formation of a highly ordered 2D lattice. Our experimental findings were underpinned by a systematic computational study, which allowed us to quantify the energies associated with LD interactions and to analyze intermolecular close contacts and attractions in detail.