Guest-induced growth of a surface-based supramolecular bilayer

Nat Chem. 2011 Jan;3(1):74-8. doi: 10.1038/nchem.901. Epub 2010 Nov 21.


Self-assembly of planar molecules on a surface can result in the formation of a wide variety of close-packed or porous structures. Two-dimensional porous arrays provide host sites for trapping guest species of suitable size. Here we show that a non-planar guest species (C(60)) can play a more complex role by promoting the growth of a second layer of host molecules (p-terphenyl-3,5,3″,5″-tetracarboxylic acid) above and parallel to the surface so that self-assembly is extended into the third dimension. The addition of guest molecules and the formation of the second layer are co-dependent. Adding a planar guest (coronene) can displace the C(60) and cause reversion to a monolayer arrangement. The system provides an example of a reversible transformation between a planar and a non-planar supramolecular network, an important step towards the controlled self-assembly of functional, three-dimensional, surface-based supramolecular architectures.

Associated data

  • PubChem-Substance/99437315
  • PubChem-Substance/99437316
  • PubChem-Substance/99437317
  • PubChem-Substance/99437318
  • PubChem-Substance/99437319