Applied Physics A

, Volume 93, Issue 2, pp 247–252 | Cite as

Formation and manipulation of discrete supramolecular azobenzene assemblies

  • Sofia Selvanathan
  • Maike V. Peters
  • Jutta Schwarz
  • Stefan HechtEmail author
  • Leonhard GrillEmail author


Azobenzene derivatives were deposited onto a Au(111) surface and studied by scanning tunneling microscopy. The symmetry of the parent azobenzene was broken by introducing tert-butyl groups which are known to decouple the molecular core from the substrate, on the one end, and carboxylic acid groups which direct and stabilize the supramolecular assembly structure on the surface by intermolecular hydrogen bonding, on the other end. As a consequence of the interacting COOH groups, the molecules assemble on the surface either in extended, polymeric chains and/or in discrete, hexameric rosettes. The high stability of the rosette structure is proven experimentally by controlled lateral displacement on the surface without breaking the non-covalent interactions. Although switching attempts were not successful, the approach herein should facilitate the construction of well-defined multi-switch arrays.


68.37.Ef 72.80.Le 81.07.-b 82.37.Gk 85.65.+h 


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Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für ExperimentalphysikFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany

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