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In this paper, to elucidate the hydrogen bond effect on the assembly behavior, we studied the assembly structures of two carboxylic substituted thiophene derivatives on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) by scanning tunneling microscopy. Here thiophene-2-carboxylic acid (TCA) and thiophene-2,5-dicarboxylic acid (TDA) were employed. TDA molecules spontaneously adsorb on the HOPG surface and self-organize into a two-dimensional (2D) assembly with well-defined structure. Two types of domain could be observed. Each TDA molecule appears as a round circle with two small faint dots and forms hydrogen bonds with neighbours. Besides monolayer structure, a bilayer structure of TDA adlayer on HOPG was also observed in this research. Remnant TDA molecules adsorb on the monolayer of TDA and bilayer structure is formed. In contrast to TDA, no ordered structure of TCA on HOPG can be observed. TCA molecules have high propensity to form dimers through H-bond between carboxylic groups. But TCA dimer is not stable enough for either adsorption or imaging. Our result provides a new example for understanding hydrogen effect on stabilizing and controlling two-dimensional assembly structure and is helpful for surface nanofabrication and development of electric nanodevices.


Li-Ping Xu, Yibiao Liu, Jing Zhao, Shuqi Wang, Chen-Sheng Lin, Rui-Qin Zhang, Yongqiang Wen, Hongwu Du, Xueji Zhang. Self-assembly of thiophene derivatives on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite: hydrogen bond effect. Journal of nanoscience and nanotechnology. 2013 Feb;13(2):1226-31

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PMID: 23646608

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