Such a self-assembly on a surface has not before been considered: Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used as a "molecular ruler" to observe the direct assembly of coordination cages on self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). A simple process was employed using microcontact-printed (μCP) modified substrates. Metal-induced self-assembly of cavitand-based cages on SAMs (see picture) was proven by means of electrochemistry, contact-angle, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements. AFM measurements on individual molecules has enabled the observation of the coordination process on a single-molecular level.
Direct Observation of Surface Controlled Self-assembly of Coordination Cages by an AFM as Molecular Ruler / Levi, S.; Guatteri, P.; VAN VEGGEL, F. C. J. M.; Vancso, G. J.; Dalcanale, Enrico; Reinhoudt, D. N.. - In: ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE. INTERNATIONAL EDITION. - ISSN 1433-7851. - 40(2001), pp. 1892-1896. [10.1002/1521-3773(20010518)40:10<1892::AID-ANIE1892>3.0.CO;2-J]
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