Chemical Anchoring of Molecular Rotors

  • Oumaima Aiboudi
  • Franziska LisselEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Atom and Single Molecule Machines book series (AASMM)


A reliable anchoring on the substrate is the fundamental prerequisite to investigate surface-bound molecular rotors. The choice of the anchor group is dependent on the used substrate, and the surface-molecule bond must be sufficiently strong to endure under electrical operation. Here, we give an overview of anchor groups suitable to immobilize molecules on gold and other coinage metals via chemisorption. Sulfur-, nitrogen- and oxygen-based anchors are reviewed, N-heterocyclic carbenes as well as selected examples of other carbon-based anchors are considered, and examples of anchor groups reported for surface-bound molecular rotors are given. Anchoring is discussed in terms of the surface-molecule binding mode, i.e. radical adsorption and lone pair interaction. Green’s ligand classification, Pearson’s hard/soft- acid/base (HSAB) principle as well as the concepts denticity and podality are considered. Emphasis is placed on chemical aspects, e.g. the need to protect and controllably deprotect reactive anchors such as thiols and acetylenes.


Chemical anchoring Molecular rotor Surface immobilization Binding mode 



O.A. thanks the Helmholtz International Research School for Nanoelectronic Networks (NanoNet) for a PhD fellowship, F.L. the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie (FCI) for a Liebig fellowship.


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© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry (IMC), Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research Dresden (IPF)DresdenGermany
  2. 2.Institute of ChemistryTechnical University DresdenDresdenGermany
  3. 3.Cfaed Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden, Technical University DresdenDresdenGermany

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