Molecular Self-Assembly on Two-Dimensional Atomic Crystals: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations
mediaposted on 17.12.2015, 10:46 by Yinghe Zhao, Qisheng Wu, Qian Chen, Jinlan Wang
van der Waals (vdW) epitaxy of ultrathin organic films on two-dimensional (2D) atomic crystals has become a sovereign area because of their unique advantages in organic electronic devices. However, the dynamic mechanism of the self-assembly remains elusive. Here, we visualize the nanoscale self-assembly of organic molecules on graphene and boron nitride monolayer from a disordered state to a 2D lattice via molecular dynamics simulation for the first time. It is revealed that the assembly toward 2D ordered structures is essentially the minimization of the molecule–molecule interaction, that is, the vdW interaction in nonpolar systems and the vdW and Coulomb interactions in polar systems that are the decisive factors for the formation of the 2D ordering. The role of the substrate is mainly governing the array orientation of the adsorbates. The mechanisms unveiled here are generally applicable to a broad class of organic thin films via vdW epitaxy.