Molecular dynamics simulation study on a monolayer of half [2]rotaxane self-assembled on Au(111)

J Am Chem Soc. 2005 Apr 6;127(13):4959-64. doi: 10.1021/ja044762w.


The self-assembled monolayer (SAM) structure of the tetrathiafulvalene-side half of the Stoddart-Heath type [2]rotaxane on Au(111) surface was investigated using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. We find that the orientation of the cyclobis(paraquat-p-phenylene) (CBPQT) ring depends dramatically on the coverage, changing in order to obtain highly packed SAMs. The ring lies with its large hollow parallel to the surface at lower coverage (up to one CBPQT per 27 surface Au atoms with a footprint of 1.9 nm(2); 1/27) when free space is available around it, but as the coverage increases (up to one CBPQT per 12 surface Au atoms with a footprint of 0.9 nm(2); 1/12), it tilts completely around its axis and lies with its smaller side (paraquat or phenyl ring) parallel to the surface to accommodate the reduced area available. We find that the best packing densities correspond to one CBPQT per 12-18 surface Au atoms (1/18-1/12) with footprints in the range between 0.9 nm(2) and 1.3 nm(2).