Templated bilayer self-assembly of fully conjugated -expanded macrocyclic oligothiophenes complexed with fullerenes,
J.D. Cojal González, M. Iyoda, J.P. Rabe – 2017
Fully conjugated macrocyclic oligothiophenes exhibit a combination of highly attractive structural, optical and electronic properties, and multifunctional molecular thin film architectures thereof are envisioned. However, control over the self-assembly of such systems becomes increasingly challenging, the more complex the target structures are. Here we show a robust self-assembly based on hierarchical non-covalent interactions. A self-assembled monolayer of hydrogen-bonded trimesic acid at the interface between an organic solution and graphite provides host-sites for the epitaxial ordering of Saturn-like complexes of fullerenes with oligothiophene macrocycles in mono- and bilayers. STM tomography verifies the formation of the templated layers. Molecular dynamics simulations corroborate the conformational stability and assign the adsorption sites of the adlayers. Scanning tunnelling spectroscopy determines their rectification characteristics. Current–voltage characteristics reveal the modification of the rectifying properties of the macrocycles by the formation of donor–acceptor complexes in a densely packed all-self-assembled supramolecular nanostructure.