Controlling the stereospecific bonding motif

Controlling the stereospecific bonding motif of Au–thiolate links

AUGUST 1, 2019

Luciano Colazzo, Mohammed S. G. Mohammed, Aurelio Gallardo, Zakaria M. Abd El-Fattah, José A. Pomposo, Pavel Jelínek, and Dimas G. de Oteyza
Nanoscale (2019)


Over the last decades, organosulfur compounds at the interface of noble metals have proved to be extremely versatile systems for both fundamental and applied research. However, the anchoring of thiols to gold remained an object of controversy for a long time. The RS–Au–SR linkage, in particular, is a robust bonding configuration that displays interesting properties. It is generated spontaneously at room temperature and can be used for the production of extended molecular nanostructures. In this work we explore the behavior of 1,4-bis(4-mercaptophenyl)benzene (BMB) on the Au(111) surface, which results in the formation of 2D crystalline metal–organic assemblies stabilized by this type of Au–thiolate bonds. We show how to control the thiolate's stereospecific bonding motif and thereby choose whether to form ordered arrays of Au3BMB3 units with embedded triangular nanopores or linearly stacked metal–organic chains. The former turn out to be thermodynamically favored structures and display confinement of the underneath Au(111) surface state. The electronic properties of single molecules as well as of the 2D crystalline self-assemblies have been characterized both on the metal–organic backbone and inside the associated pores.