Tailoring Large Pores of Porphyrin Networks on Ag(111) by Metal-​Organic Coordination

F. Bischoff, Y. He, K. Seufert, D. Stassen, D. Bonifazi, J. V. Barth, W. Auwaerter,
Chem. – Eur. J., 2016, 22, 15298–15306
doi: 10.1002/chem.201602154


The engineering of nanoarchitectures to achieve tailored properties relevant for macroscopic devices is a key motivation of organometallic surface science. To this end, understanding the role of molecular functionalities in structure formation and adatom coordination is of great importance. In this study, the differences in formation of Cu-mediated metal–organic coordination networks based on two pyridyl- and cyano-bearing free-base porphyrins on Ag(111) are elucidated by use of low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). Distinct coordination networks evolve via different pathways upon codeposition of Cu adatoms. The cyano-terminated module directly forms 2D porous networks featuring fourfold-coordinated Cu nodes. By contrast, the pyridyl species engage in twofold coordination with Cu and a fully reticulated 2D network featuring a pore size exceeding 3 nm2 only evolves via an intermediate structure based on 1D coordination chains. The STM data and complementary Monte Carlo simulations reveal that these distinct network architectures originate from spatial constraints at the coordination centers. Cu adatoms are also shown to form two- and fourfold monoatomic coordination nodes with monotopic nitrogen-terminated linkers on the very same metal substrate—a versatility that is not achieved by other 3d transition metal centers but consistent with 3D coordination chemistry. This study discloses how specific molecular functionalities can be applied to tailor coordination architectures and highlights the potential of Cu as coordination center in such low-dimensional structures on surfaces.


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