Self-Assembled Structures of Benzoic Acid on Au(111) Surface
Electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy combined with cyclic voltammetry were employed to explore the self-assembly of benzoic acid (BA) on a Au(111) substrate surface in a 0.1-M HClO4 solution. At the negatively charged surface, BA molecules form two highly ordered physisorbed adlayers with their phenyl rings parallel to the substrate surface. High-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy images reveal the packing arrangement and internal molecular structures. The striped pattern and zigzag structure of the BA adlayers are composed of parallel rows of dimers, in which two BA molecules are bound through a pair of O–H···O hydrogen bonds. Increasing the electrode potential further to positive charge densities of Au(111) leads to the desorption of the physisorbed hydrogen-bonded networks and the formation of a chemisorbed adlayer. BA molecules change their orientation from planar to upright fashion, which is accompanied by the deprotonation of the carboxyl group. Furthermore, potential-induced formation and dissolution of BA adlayers were also investigated. Structural transitions between the various types of ordered adlayers occur according to a nucleation and growth mechanism.
KeywordsSelf-assembly gold single crystals cyclic voltammetry EC-STM benzoic acid
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The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Hanoi University of Science and Technology under Grant No. T2016-PC-134.