Electrochemical NanoScience Group
‹— Research topics

Tailored Nanostructures on Surfaces

Derived from concepts of supramolecular chemistry, self-assembly represents a promising bottom-up method to create molecular-based nanoscale entities. Jean-Marie Lehn, one of the pioneers in chemical self-assembly, described the supramolecular chemistry as “the chemistry of the intermolecular bonds”, which involves recognition, transformation and translocation of information. Intermolecular interactions in supramoleecular chemistry, such as hydrogen bonds, van der Waals and Coulomb interactions, are generally weak and noncovalent. Supramolecular structures are the result of not only additive but rather of cooperative interactions. Their properties are determined by the complex interplay of the individual building blocks. The properties of the assembled architectures are not just the sum of the single component’s properties.

Understanding how molecular bricks self-assemble represents a key step for the design of (supra)-molecular devices based on bottom-up construction principles. The interactions in supramolecular assemblies are typically noncovalent. They are weak and vary from less than 5 kJ·mol-1 for van der Waals forces, 10-65 kJ·mol-1 for hydrogen bonds, to 250 kJ·mol-1 for coulomb interactions. Among these interactions, hydrogen bonding is a particularly important building principle in the design of supramolecular materials and the engineering of nanostructures on surface. In case of the 2D supramolecular self-assembly of molecules on surfaces one also needs to consider adsorbate–substrate interactions.
Revised: 06.12.2007     ©: 2005-2007