Self-Assembly of Flexible One-Dimensional Coordination Polymers on Metal Surfaces

D. Heim, D. Ecija, K. Seufert, W. Auwaerter, C. Aurisicchio, C. Fabbro, D. Bonifazi, J. V. Barth,
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 6783-6790
DOI: 10.1021/ja1010527


We employed a de novo synthesized porphyrin module to construct one-dimensional (1D) Cu-coordinated polymers on Cu(111) and Ag(111) surfaces. The programmed geometry and functionality of the molecular module together with its conformational flexibility and substrate interaction yields sinuous metal−organic polymeric assemblies, based on an unusual two-fold Cu−pyridyl coordination motif. An analysis of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) data reveals the occurrence of two enantiomers, resulting from the surface confinement that deconvolutes the module in 2D-chiral conformational isomers. The stereoisomers exhibit site-specific surface anchoring, from whence three discrete orientations are possible for each species. Their sequence and mutual arrangement determine direction and curvature of the metal−organic chains. The Cu-coordinated polymers are very similar on both Cu(111) and Ag(111), where their formation is induced by intrinsic and coevaporated adatoms, respectively, which indicates that the lateral bonding motif is predominantly independent of the substrate. In addition, molecular manipulation experiments show the collective motion of entire segments of the Cu-coordinated multi-porphyrin polymers.

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