Controlling Self-Assembly of Switchable Azobenzene Derivatives on Highly Oriented Pyrolytic Graphite at Ambient Conditions

Khushboo Yadav, Thomas Halbritter, Alexander Heckel, Thiruvancheril G. Gopakumar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrathin films prepared at the solid/air interface of azobenzene (AB), 4-(phenylazo) benzoic acid (PABA), 3,4′-azodibenzoic acid (meta-ADB), and 4,4′-azodibenzoic acid (para-ADB) have been studied on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). While AB molecules form compact herringbone pattern stabilized via van der Waals interaction, AB derivatives with carboxyl groups show patterns formed through strong dimeric hydrogen bonds. Depending on the numbers and the positions of carboxyl group(s), we show that the assembly can be controlled at a global level. Due to the right balance of weak and strong intermolecular interactions, PABA molecules show a unique growth at global levels. meta/para-ADB molecules form chains stabilized through carboxyl groups; however, possible adsorption-induced isomers influence the growth behavior and restrict it to limited size on the surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15330-15337
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for providing an infrastructure grant through the Visvesvaraya PhD Programme and the Indo-German Meeting 2016 at Khajuraho, India, through which this collaborative work is initiated. K.Y. would like to thank the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur for the research fellowship (GATE). Furthermore, we thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for support through SFB 902.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2018 American Chemical Society.


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